Patriotism, tradition, inspiration. These are values the Langley Winds woodwind quintet represents during its mission to enhance the “espirit de corps” of the United States Air Force each time it performs.
The chamber group will put on a free performance spanning more than 250 years of musical tradition at the Cole Auditorium on March 19 starting at 7:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Cole Auditorium and the Richmond County Daily Journal.
Heritage of America Band Director of Operations Ray Landon explained this is a community-oriented performance.
“The Langley Winds woodwind quintent is a group of five very talented musicians, who represent one of the core values of the Air Force: ‘Excellence in all that we do,’ through their music,” Landon said. “We would also like for our audience to understand that right now there are a lot of deployed airmen across the globe making real sacrifices for our country. This concert is a way of thanking the community for supporting them, and to remind the audience there a lot of people out there making those sacrifices.”
He said the quintet usually performs a broad range of selections, from “a pretty serious classical piece to more popular pop music pieces arranged for a quintet.”
“They’ll also probably play two or three patriotic pieces, too, even though this is more of a classical-oriented group,” Landon said. “So, there’s something for everybody.”
“It is always a real pleasure having the military bands perform for our audience,” Cole Director Joey Bennett said Wednesday. “These talented individuals are never disappointing as they tour through our area, and I think that having the Langley Winds perform will be no less impressive. It has been some time since we have been able to showcase a woodwind group in our series.”
Because admission is free, Bennett said the auditorium is expected to fill up.
“We hope to have a full house for the performance,” he said. “I am hoping that everyone will be excited to see the group perform. Being able to offer the concert free of charge is a nice treat for the audience. We hope to draw community members that may not be able to attend our series performances.”
“The Daily Journal is always happy to work with the Cole Auditorium to bring quality musical experiences to our readers and the community as a whole,” said Publisher Rick Bacon. “Bringing in groups from our military gives us the chance to enjoy a great night out, for free, and honor our veterans at the same time. I hope every veteran who can will join us that night.”
The quintet is one of eight ensembles of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, one of the original Army Air Corps bands created in October of 1941, a mere two months before the Pearl Harbor attack and the onset of American involvement in World War II.
In June 1946, the band relocated to its current home at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
The Langley WInds quintet includes North Carolina School of the Arts product Staff Sgt. Anne Epperly, who plays the flute.
Other ensembles of the Heritage Band include the Blue Aces, the Ceremonial Band, the Concert Band, the Heritage Aire, the Heritage Brass, the Vector brass ensemble and the Satellite jazz and pop music ensemble.
The band’s Web site, www.heritageofamericaband.af.mil, points out that the band’s mission has shifted since the middle part of the last decade.
“Since 2005, the mission of Air Force Bands has become an expeditionary one,” the Web site reads. “The Blue Aces were among the first groups to tour Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa to support coalition and Joint forces serving in the Global War on Terrorism.”
Tickets for the Cole Auditorium show will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis up until the night of the performance.
“We anticipate tickets being available on the night of the performance, but we do encourage individuals that are interested to drop by the Cole Box Office during our regular office hours or pick up their tickets at the Richmond County Daily Journal office prior to the date of the event,” Bennett said.
For more information call 410-1691.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.