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Heritage Brass ‘sounds off’ in Hampton schools
The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band’s Heritage Brass ensemble performs for students at Jefferson Davis Middle School in Hampton, Va., Feb. 1, 2012. The ensemble performed at several Hampton city schools in early February as part of Langley Air Force Base’s outreach to the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamie Lantz/Released)
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Heritage Brass 'sounds off' in Hampton schools

Posted 2/13/2012   Updated 2/13/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Jason J. Brown
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/13/2012 - HAMPTON, Va.  -- The melodic echoes of brass instruments reverberated through the hallways of Hampton City Schools recently, as the Heritage Brass performed for students and faculty at three area schools earlier this month.

The ensemble, a five-member ensemble from the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, visited Barron Elementary School, Jefferson Davis Middle School, and one of Hampton's newest facilities, Phoenix Pre-K-8 School during the first week of February. The musical presentations, designed to educate and entertain, are a part of the Langley Air Force Base's strategic outreach to the local community.

The Heritage Brass, comprised of two trumpets, a horn, trombone and tuba, allowed students and teachers alike to learn more about the music they perform, and the instruments they play.

"The feedback from my students has been very positive. The group touched on music as a career, something the students usually relate only to the big music stars, "said Mary Gore, a music specialist at Barron Elementary. "I was very pleased with the program."

In addition to performing, the ensemble instilled life lessons in their young audience members, including what it takes to be a part of a highly-skilled team. Airmen fielded questions from students about military life, and recognized students who have parents, siblings or loved ones serving in the military.

"Servicemembers sacrifice so many things for our country and alongside each of them are family members making similar sacrifices," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Foster, the group's NCO in charge. "Recognizing these children for their own sacrifices is immeasurably important."

According to Ray Landon, the band's director of operations, developing a bond with Hampton's schools is "a high priority," and the band's performances are one of many partnership opportunities between the city and Langley AFB.

"We live and work here at Langley as partners within the community, especially with Hampton, our closest neighbor," Landon said.

The Heritage Brass, formed in 1973, tours the Mid-Atlantic region from South Carolina to Delaware, impressing and delighting audiences with world-class musicianship and entertaining showmanship. The quintet's repertoire ranges from classical to jazz and popular music, providing a variety of music that is as educational as it is exciting.

The Heritage of America Band's ensembles are currently planning similar events for the months ahead. For more information, visit

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