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On the road again

Capt. Daniel Booth, U.S. Air Force Band assistant director of operations and associate conductor, speaks with Bob Frier and Amy Kaufeldt, co-hosts of 'Good Day Orlando', in Lake Mary, Fla., Feb. 21, 2017. During the broadcast the ensemble performed snippets of patriotic music from their program and gave an overview of their weeklong tour. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Capt. Daniel Booth, U.S. Air Force Band assistant director of operations and associate conductor, speaks with Bob Frier and Amy Kaufeldt, co-hosts of 'Good Day Orlando', in Lake Mary, Fla., Feb. 21, 2017. During the broadcast the ensemble performed snippets of patriotic music from their program and gave an overview of their weeklong tour. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble perform during a show at the Eisenhower Regional Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of popular songs from the 1940s and '50s for audiences during their weeklong community outreach tour. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble perform during a show at the Eisenhower Regional Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of popular songs from the 1940s and '50s for audiences during their weeklong community outreach tour. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Julia Cuevas, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble alto vocalist, examines a document signed by Abraham Lincoln at the Eisenhower Regional Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of musical hits from the 1940s and '50s for audience members before receiving a tour of the center. The facility has numerous displays of historical military memorabilia donated by veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Julia Cuevas, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble alto vocalist, examines a document signed by Abraham Lincoln at the Eisenhower Regional Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of musical hits from the 1940s and '50s for audience members before receiving a tour of the center. The facility has numerous displays of historical military memorabilia donated by veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Ashley Keeks, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble soprano vocalist, poses with Harry Maass, audience member, after a show at the Eisenhower Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. After performing a variety of musical hits from the 1940s and '50s, members of the Singing Sergeants met with local veterans and received a tour of the center. The facility has numerous displays of historical military memorabilia donated by veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Ashley Keeks, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble soprano vocalist, poses with Harry Maass, audience member, after a show at the Eisenhower Recreational Center in The Villages, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017. After performing a variety of musical hits from the 1940s and '50s, members of the Singing Sergeants met with local veterans and received a tour of the center. The facility has numerous displays of historical military memorabilia donated by veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble dance with audience members during a performance in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The ensemble performed a variety of popular hits from the 1940s and '50s, as well as a selection of classical choral literature, for audiences in central Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble dance with audience members during a performance in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The ensemble performed a variety of popular hits from the 1940s and '50s, as well as a selection of classical choral literature, for audiences in central Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Master Sgt. Joe Haughton, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble tenor vocalist, performs the 1951 hit "Cry," orginally sung by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads, in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s during a week-long community outreach tour in Central Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

Master Sgt. Joe Haughton, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble tenor vocalist, performs the 1951 hit "Cry," orginally sung by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads, in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s during a week-long community outreach tour in Central Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble performs at Stetson University in Deland, Fla., Feb. 25, 2017. The Singing Sergeants toured central Florida on a week-long community outreach tour where audience members were treated to performances of classical choral literature and a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble performs at Stetson University in Deland, Fla., Feb. 25, 2017. The Singing Sergeants toured central Florida on a week-long community outreach tour where audience members were treated to performances of classical choral literature and a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Jilian McGreen, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble mezzo-soprano vocalist, sings "The Trolley Song" during a performance at Universal Studios Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s for audience members during a series of free concerts. "The Trolley Song" from the 1944 film "Meet Me in St. Louis" was originally sung by actress Julie Garland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

Tech. Sgt. Jilian McGreen, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble mezzo-soprano vocalist, sings "The Trolley Song" during a performance at Universal Studios Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23, 2017. The Singing Sergeants performed a variety of hits from the 1940s and '50s for audience members during a series of free concerts. "The Trolley Song" from the 1944 film "Meet Me in St. Louis" was originally sung by actress Julie Garland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble answer questions during a panel at Universal Studios Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23, 2017. During the panel audience members were invited to ask questions and learn about the Singing Sergeants role in the U.S. Air Force Band's mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble answer questions during a panel at Universal Studios Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23, 2017. During the panel audience members were invited to ask questions and learn about the Singing Sergeants role in the U.S. Air Force Band's mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Rustie Kramer)

Master Sgt. Benjamin Park, U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants ensemble baritone vocalist, performs "Ol' Man River" with Gulf Coast Symphony in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The collaboration was the final performance in a weeklong community outreach tour for the Singing Sergeants. The ensemble performed a variety of popular hits from the 1940s and '50s, as well as a selection of classical choral literature, for audiences in central Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)
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Master Sgt. Benjamin Park, U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants ensemble baritone vocalist, performs "Ol' Man River" with Gulf Coast Symphony in Cape Coral, Fla., Feb. 26, 2017. The collaboration was the final performance in a weeklong community outreach tour for the Singing Sergeants. The ensemble performed a variety of popular hits from the 1940s and '50s, as well as a selection of classical choral literature, for audiences in central Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rustie Kramer)

ORLANDO --

The U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants kicked off their first solo tour in approximately 20 years Feb. 22 to Feb. 26 in central Florida.

 

“Historically, we’ve been primarily part of the concert band touring mission,” said Capt. Daniel Boothe, U.S. Air Force Band assistant director of operations and associate conductor. “With this tour, the commander of the band wanted to give us the opportunity to showcase our unique abilities.”

 

The first appearance the ensemble was at Fox 35 Studios to give an overview of the tour and patriotic music from the program to audiences in Florida.

 

During multiple performances of the community outreach tour, the ensemble catapulted the audience back to a time to the 1940s and ‘50s when the Andrews Sisters were “the dish” and soda shops jukeboxes blared a variety of hits.

 

“For a tour, it takes about a year of preparation,” said Tech. Sgt. Julia Cuevas, U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants ensemble alto vocalist. “There are a lot of moving parts including logistics of people and equipment, marketing, advertising and finding appropriate venues to fit our mission.”

 

Cuevas added that many venues are booked almost a year in advance like the Eisenhower Regional Recreational Center, one of the first venues the ensemble performed at.

 

“They didn’t miss a beat,” said Bill Oster, ERRC audience member, with tears of joy in his eyes. “They did a really fantastic job. It brings back memories listening to those songs.”

 

After their performance at the ERRC, the Singing Sergeants met with local veterans from an honor flight and received a short tour of the facility, which houses numerous displays of historical military memorabilia donated by local veterans.

 

“It's important to us to reach out and honor the veterans who served before us,” Cuevas said. “It was an overwhelmingly wonderful experience. They were so appreciative of our performance and we were able to hear stories of different eras.”

 

Audience members at Universal CityWalk in Orlando were able to attend a panel with members of the Singing Sergeants to have face-to-face contact with them and learn about the ensemble’s mission.

 

In addition to famous pop songs, the ensemble performed a series of classical choral literature for spectators at North Lake Presbyterian Church in Lady Lake and Lee Chapel Hall at Stetson University in Deland. They also performed a patriotic concert with Gulf Coast Orchestra in Cape Coral to close the tour.

 

“It wasn’t just about the music,” Boothe said. “But it was about the honor of serving in the military, the impact our performances have on audiences and how we can inspire patriotism for future generations.”

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