Rampart Winds, a wind ensemble from the Air Force Academy, treated an appreciative audience to a repertoire of classical and contemporary music on March 4 at Ogden Peery's Egyptian Theater. The March 4 concert was one of four stops the group made in the Top of Utah.
Also performing at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City with the Utah Youth Symphony, the group also made sure to boost the arts for students in Logan in its second concert.
"It was a wonderful experience to play for young musicians," said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Stewart, NCOIC for the ensemble, of their performances here for and with young musicians. "Music is a great communicator," she explained as she described efforts made by Air Force musicians as they tour around the world.
"It's a great opportunity to share music and it's the same thing whether we're here in the States or overseas in the Middle East, just seeing the thankfulness and the gratitude," said Staff Sgt. Vernon Russell, French horn musician, and veteran of more than one Air Force Band.
He explained that Air Force bands tour frequently in the Areas of Responsibility, Europe and wherever music can be an ambassador for good will and freedom.
Some members of Rampart Winds have had the opportunity to deploy with previous assignments and have a unique perspective on what they bring.
Russell described his experiences as an Air Force musician on tour, saying what was special was: "Just having a handshake from an Airman who has just pulled 16 straight hours of look-out, saying 'I just enjoy everything that you do. Thank you for that. Thank you for the break - it's so great that you were able to do that for us.'"
Tech. Sgt. Sandra Siemens, flautist, reported after the concert that the group had recently released a CD, "Sonata in Blue," which was also available at cdbaby.com. The recording can be downloaded at no charge.
The Air Force Academy Band based in Colorado Springs, Colo., sends out ensemble groups, performs as a marching and concert band and records in its own music studio. There are several ensemble opportunities for band musicians. "We have three audio engineers with the band in addition to all the instrumentalists and all the vocalists," said Siemens.