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Near-Record Crowd On Hand For USAF Band of Flight Concert

Bay City is One Stop Along the Way During Band's 10-Day Midwest Tour

July 13, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: O. J. Cunningham

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A near-record crowd was on hand last Wednesday night for the USAF Band of Flight Concert in Wenonah Park.
Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alan Sierichs, the band travels nearly 70,000 miles each year.

Seven-Eleven was a lucky number for the Bay Arts Council (BAC) last Wednesday.

BAC organizers had feared that sweltering heat might hold down attendance for the United States Air Force Band of Flight performance at the Wenonah Park Bandshell.

But, the hot, sticky humid air that had plagued Bay City for the previous week moved out and brought with it a cool, clear, beautiful night for the free concert -- all part of the Bay Arts Council's Wednesday Night Summer Series.

BAC spokesman Jack Lohr was smiling ear-to-ear as he looked out over the packed house at the Bandshell. "We had 3,900 plus 350 VIP seating in the Park for Ray Charles a few years back," Lohr said. "This crowd is really close to those numbers."

Lohr went on to say how happy he was that the weather had cooled a bit after the previous week's heat wave. "I'm glad so many people are out tonight," Lohr said. "It's a great opportunity to show off the park and the great entertainment that the BAC Summer Series has to offer.

The USAF Band of Flight was on a 10-day tour through Michigan and Indiana. Previous stops included Indianapolis, Lansing, Mackinac City, Auburn (Indiana) and Albion.

The United States Air Force Band of Flight is one of twelve bands in the Air Force and one of two assigned to the Air Force Material Command.

As one of the oldest bands in the Air Force, The Band of Flight has an unbroken record of service since its formation and shares with only The United States Air Force Band, Bolling AFB DC, the distinction of having remained at its original location for its entire history.

The band was activated on 24 September 1942 at Patterson Field (later Wright-Patterson AFB), Ohio as the 361st Army Air Force Band.

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alan Sierichs, the band travels nearly 70,000 miles each year from their home at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio to present almost 500 performances before both military and civilian audiences.

Appearances by the band have ranged from the Kentucky Derby parade, the Indianapolis 500 parade and the Professional Football Hall of Fame festival parade to annual appearances at the Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival. The band's area of responsibility reaches from Michigan to Kentucky and from Indiana to West Virginia and includes almost one-quarter of the nation's population.

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O. J. Cunningham

O. J. Cunningham is the Publisher of Cunningham previously published Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise. He is the President/CEO of OJ Advertising, Inc.

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