USAF Band Performs in DeKalb


The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America Concert Band will present a two-hour concert on Monday, October 7 on the campus of Northern Illinois University.

This military music ensemble represents the professionalism and excellence found every day in the United States Air Force.  Their repertoire ranges from symphonic band masterworks, to traditional marches, to modern compositions, to pops and jazz. They will be presenting music in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing as well as vocal selections from The Wizard of OzThe Wiz, and Wicked in celebration of the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. The Band of Mid-America has a long history of entertaining the American public and promoting esprit de corps within the military. The unit strives to inspire the hearts and minds of our men and women serving around the world and to tell the Air Force story through the universal language of music.

This ensemble primarily performs free civic outreach and recruiting concerts for audiences throughout the Midwest, playing more than 100 engagements each year. In its broader travels, the band has performed in New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, the Gulf Coast, Germany, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Barbados, Grenada, Guatemala, Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Azores. Each year, band members perform live before hundreds of thousands of people, and for millions more on television and radio broadcasts. During a concert, you are likely to hear stirring works from contemporary composers as well as the familiar sounds of John Philip Sousa or Major Glenn Miller.

The Concert Band is often called upon to provide musical support for visiting dignitaries and has had the distinction of performing for Pope John Paul II, Presidents George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, the Queen of the Netherlands, and hundreds of other US and foreign leaders. In November 2004, the ensemble traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to support the nationally televised grand opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The band has also backed many notable guest artists such as Bob Hope, Wilford Brimley, Jamie Farr, and the U.S.O. Girls. This military Concert Band reflects the heritage and pride of our great nation and the United States Air Force.

There are also local connections to the USAF Band. Two former NIU School of Music performers have or is serving with a music unit of the US Air Force. Lt. Col. Bryan Miller is the Director/Conductor of the USAF Reserve Band. S/Sgt. Michael Embrey was a musician/arranger with the USAF Drum & Bugle Corps.

Lt. Col Bryan Miller

Lt. Col. Bryan Miller has the honor of serving our country as the commander of the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest, the 566th Air Force Band. He volunteered for deployments in 2010 and 2012, leading missions in numerous undisclosed locations throughout Southwest Asia and Africa for the deployed AFCENT bands New Directions and Vector. He graduated from NIU with a Music Ed degree. He currently serves as Leyden High School’s Music Department Chair since 1994.  

S/Sgt. Michael Embrey served during the Vietnam era as a member of the official USAF Drum & Bugle Corps. The USAF Bugle Corps was assigned as a support musical element to support the mission of the USAF Military Academy as well as the official music marching unit for the US Air Force.  After his tour of duty, Michael Embrey became the Marching Band Director for Northern Illinois University. He currently is involved in music and theater productions.

The concert is free of charge and will be held in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall at 8 p.m. in the NIU Music Building, hosted by the NIU School of Music.

Concert Band at Northern Illinois University

WhenMon Oct 7, 2019 – 8pm – 10pm Central Time – Chicago
WhereBoutell Memorial Concert Hall, Northern Illinois University

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