Air Force Band of the Golden West strikes a chord with CWU students

Mykah Koke-Filimaua, Staff Reporter

The crisp notes of brass instruments, the thump of percussion and the soaring melodies of woodwinds filled the air as the Air Force Band of the Golden West performed at CWU. 

The renowned ensemble, composed of active-duty airmen and women, showcased their musical prowess at the free concert on April 26 in McIntyre Hall while also marketing broader career choices for CWU students, according to jazz professor Keith Karns.

According to Karns, the partnership between the Air Force Band of the Golden West and the CWU music program is a fantastic opportunity for both the students and the community. 

“One of my hopes is that from hearing the band…some of our students will become aware of broader career options in the future,” Karns said. 

Karns also mentioned how critical these service jobs are for students who are pursuing a performance major. 

“A huge segment of our student population in the music department are music majors, but we also train performance majors…so these service jobs are vital jobs,” Karns said. 

Professor and Lecturer of Jazz Norman Wallen talks about the relationship CWU has with the bands of the U.S. military and the number of recruitment opportunities for music and performance majors at CWU. 

“These military bands love coming to Central because they know our students are very highly trained and extremely proficient,” Wallen said.“They recruit our students heavily.”

Wallen also mentioned the history between CWU and bands of the U.S. military that laid the foundation for more musicians to have a chance at recruitment. 

“They come to Central in part because many of our music graduates have played in these bands since the early 1950s,” Wallen said 

First year music education major Toby Glick talked about why it’s important to have events like this. 

“I believe bringing in high-level musicians that are at the highest level like those guys is very important for young musicians to see and listen to,” Glick said. “It’s also a good recruiting tactic.”

Sophomore trombone performance major Ian Middelburg described his familiarity with military music. 

“I’ve played in bands my whole life, so I have been exposed to it a good amount,” Middelburg said 

Another sophomore vocal performance major Lexi James shared her thoughts on the importance of events like this. 

“I think it exposes the public to different things that the military does because I don’t think many people know the military does music,” James said. “Also, it gives the military a chance to do outreach and get people interested.”

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  • Professor Karns playing music. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

  • Group of Saxophonist playing with lead singer. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

  • Cellist playing music. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

  • Saxophonist playing music. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

  • Saxophonist playing music. Photo by Yohanes Goodell

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