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Air Force to perform in Hays

4/8/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

The U.S. Air Force Academy Concert Band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. April 15 in Fort Hays State University’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

The Hays Daily News, James Motor Co., FHSU and its Student Veterans Association and the Military Friendly Committee are sponsoring the show featuring 51 active-duty Air Force band members. The band is the largest of the 11 Academy Band performing groups, according to USAF’s website.

Lt. Col. Donald Schofield, commander and conductor of the band, said the evening’s tunes will include classical, military and contemporary pop music. The diverse set list includes a twist on Beethoven and a west African percussion instrument.

“It’s a show that really celebrates patriotism, and also this is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Air Force Academy. So we’re going to do a little bit of history and a little bit of fun with that as well,” Schofield said.

The traveling groups raise morale for the men and women serving overseas, promote recruitment and engage communities.

“It’s being able to go out and travel around and be able to project the pride and professionalism of the Air Force through the universal language of music,” Schofield said.

The last USAF Academy Band to visit Hays was the Wild Blue Country group in 2005.

Patrick Lowry, HDN’s editor and publisher, said the newspaper partnered with the band because the performance resonates with residents.

“The community appreciates them so much,” Lowry said. “There’s a strong veterans’ presence in this community, and they come out with their families and just all kinds of people that are looking for quality entertainment.”

The free tickets can be picked up at the HDN office, 507 Main, or Hays Welcome Center, 2700 Vine.