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NEWS | Dec. 14, 2023

USAF Band of the West, Kris Allen perform free Holiday in Blue concert

By Kristian Carter 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force Band of the West performed its free annual “Holiday in Blue” concert on Dec. 12 and 13, 2023, at the Majestic Theatre in downtown San Antonio, with special guest Kris Allen, winner of the eighth season of American Idol.

The event’s host, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers, Joint Base San Antonio and 502nd Air Base Wing commander, offered opening remarks to the sold-out Dec. 12 show. U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James R. Sears Jr., Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, hosted the Dec. 13 concert.

These concerts allow the local community to connect with the band and Joint Base San Antonio leaders, building ties and strengthening relationships.

“We are often people’s first introduction to a concert band performance of holiday music,” said Staff Sgt. Courtney Woods, Band of the West vocalist. “With these free concerts, we are breaking down barriers and allowing many different people to enjoy the music.”

The band, stationed at JBSA-Lackland, travels frequently to build awareness of the Air Force’s mission. The Holiday in Blue concert is held in San Antonio for a local audience.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with the community here in Military City, USA," said 2nd Lt. Julian Sconyers, Band of the West flight commander and associate conductor. "It is a chance for us to wear the uniform and represent the Air Force on behalf of Airmen, especially those who are deployed or who may have behind-the-scenes jobs. It is amazing to interface with a community that is so supportive of what we do.”

Concertgoers heard a variety of styles of music.

“We’ll be playing everything from traditional classical faire, jazz, contemporary pop and some holiday favorites,” Sconyers said. “We will also represent the San Antonio community with some special treats.”

The band is comprised of several ensembles. This concert is one of the few times when all the band members come together to perform.

“This is typically one of our most popular concerts,” Woods said. “It helps people get into the holiday spirit.”