In a little over two weeks a military brass ensemble will take the stage at the Hayden Liberty Center Association for the Arts, bringing a wide variety of musical inspiration and entertainment.
Airlifter Brass, an ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, will present a performance Thursday, May 23. Comprised of two trumpets, a French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion, the band will play tunes from jazz to military marches to patriot favorites.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brenna Hyatt, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the band, said by phone Tuesday from Scott Air Force Base that the ensemble is composed of herself (trumpet), Sr. Master Sgt. Select Steve Helsand (percussion), Master Sgt. Matt Kuebler (tuba), Staff Sgt. Alena Zidlicky, (French horn and vocalist), Airman 1st Class Andrew Szymanek (trumpet), and Airman 1st Class Evan Sankey (trombone).
She said the Air Force Band of Mid-America has about 60 members and is split into two main categories, a rock-style band, Starlifter, and the Concert Band. The Concert Band is split into several smaller ensembles such as Airlifter Brass.
“We all have similar missions,” she said. “We have 10 states that we cover, around the Midwest. When we go out into communities like Sedalia, our mission is to honor, inspire and connect.
“So, this Memorial Day we will be hitting the honor portion very heavily,” she continued. “That’s what Memorial Day is all about, honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. We like to inspire the public to support the military and inspire future generations to serve.”
She added that the ensemble enjoys connecting with the public and thanking them for their support.
At Scott AFB, the Band of Mid-America is part of Air Mobility Command which provides humanitarian relief around the world.
“We get to share that side of the Air Force that the public might not get to see,” Hyatt said. “We go into a lot of communities that might not get to see the military uniform, and meet them on a personal level.”
The ensemble travels one week each month; when they aren’t traveling they play for change of command ceremonies, promotions or retirements at Scott AFB.
The Sedalia concert will span centuries of historical music.
“We just started rehearsing for that concert and we’re pretty excited about the programming,” Hyatt said. “It’s going to take them on a journey through the military history of the United States. All the way from the American Revolutionary War, through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Cold War.
“We are going to thank all our veterans,” she continued. “They are going to hear about every style of music.”
The audience will listen to marches, ballads, jazz and light rock during the concert.
Hyatt said she has served in the military for 16 years and it’s an honor to serve, wear the uniform, to meet the public and to see their support. She and members of Airlifter Brass will do just that after the concert.
“We love to stick around, shake hands and meet the audience,” Hyatt noted. “There are so many wonderful stories about where people have served or their family members have served. That’s one of the things we look forward to, is hearing those stories.
“It’s a pretty humbling and rewarding way to make music every day,” she continued. “We would love to see the community come out, we’d love to meet them.”
The Airlifter Brass will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the Hayden Liberty Center Association for the Arts, 111 W. Fifth St. The event is free but tickets are required. Tickets can be found at www.BandofMidAmerica.AF.Mil by clicking on “upcoming events.”