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NEWS | Oct. 21, 2010

Air Force Band of the West holds auditions

By Brian McGloin 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B public affairs

The Air Force Band of the West is holding chorus auditions for this year's Holiday in Blue concert series.

For the upcoming holiday season, The Band of the West is doing something a little different with their concert series. They are creating an all volunteer holiday chorus to perform several selections of popular holiday music during the concerts.

"This year will be different in that we'll be featuring an all-volunteer Air Force chorus," said Staff Sgt. John Marsh, Air Force Band of the West trombonist and marketing specialist. "The chorus will be made up of all aspects of the Air Force family."

"It was a new idea we wanted to use," said 1st Lt. Joseph Hansen, Band of the West deputy commander. "We wanted to invite other musicians to come perform with us."
"They will be performing popular Christmas music and leading a large sing-a-long with the audience," Sergeant Marsh said.

Acceptance into the chorus is based on the open audition process happening on both Lackland and Randolph. Potential chorus members will audition by singing a popular Christmas song unaccompanied, "White Christmas," by Irving Berlin.

Previous choir experience isn't required to audition.

A two or three member panel will decide acceptance into the chorus. Everyone who auditioned will be notified of their results by Oct. 27. Those who are chosen for the chorus will receive sheet their music for the concerts and practice recordings by Nov. 5.

Participation in the holiday chorus requires mandatory rehearsal attendance Nov. 15, Dec. 11 - 14 and three out of four Monday night rehearsals.

The auditions will be held Oct. 22 at the Arts and Crafts Center classroom from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and are open to active duty, reservists, guardsmen, dependents, retirees and civilian employees.

Lieutenant Hansen said the concerts are a "onetime deal," and will be performed Dec. 12-14 at Trinity University in San Antonio.

The Band of the West performs in Air Force mess dress uniform; chorus members will have their own uniform.

Active duty, guardsmen and reservists should wear mess dress if they have it, but the semi formal uniform will work also. Civilian employees, retirees and dependents will wear dark, conservative clothing. Men will wear a dark suit or tuxedo - preferably black. Women will wear black or dark dress or pant suit with no patterns.