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Air Force Band Brings Holiday Cheer At Free Concerts

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Nathan Cone
/
TPR
The Mission Winds, live in the KPAC studios.

Holiday favorites and high spirits are on the bill this weekend as the U.S. Air Force Band of the West presents their annual “Holiday in Blue” concert at Edgewood Theatre of the Performing Arts. This free event is open to the public, and features the 62-piece military band and their many splinter groups (jazz band, wind ensembles), performing favorite melodies for Christmas, Hanukkah, and more.

On TPR’s “Classical Connections” this week, the Mission Winds dropped by to perform some holiday favorites and talk about their own mission, to “honor, inspire, and connect” with the community, “Letting the younger generation know what opportunities are available across the Air Force, [including] being a musician,” according to Maj. Dustin Doyle, the band’s Commander.

Clarinetist A1C James Campbell is the featured soloist on one number, the “Klezmer Freilach” (listen in the audio link above), and notes he wanted to be a musician in the military since he was a little boy.

“I always knew, ever since fifth grade. My grandmother was a military widow, and my grandfather was a pilot,” Campbell said. “I wanted to give back in some sort of way.”

The U.S. Air Force Band of the West’s “Holiday In Blue” will be performed three times this week. You can catch the program on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Edgewood Theatre, or on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the New Braunfels Civic Center. 

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.”  He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.