USAFE Concert Band tours Poland; builds partnerships through music

WARSAW, Poland -- A trumpet bursts. Hundreds of Polish citizens stand and cheer, imploring to hear the sounds emitting from the stage once more.

This was the reoccurring scene as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Concert Band performed throughout the local communities surrounding Warsaw, Poland.

The performances were part of the band's nine-day tour in Poland, which ended with a performance in the Polish Independence Day parade in Warsaw Nov. 11. Other performances took place at a local community center and the Polish Air Force Academy.

The band's goal is to advance international relationships and inspire positive and long-lasting impressions of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America by using music to bridge language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences.

"Music is the process of taking what is on the page in black and white and really turning it into musical color," said 1st Lt. Dustin Doyle, Air Force Academy Band flight commander, who was conducting the band during their tour.

Doyle flew-in from Colorado just days before their week-long tour, and joined the band upon hearing the USAFE Band commander had an unexpected emergency, and could not attend the festivities.

Although Doyle had only practiced with the band a few times prior to the performances, the band played as if they were together for years.

"I think it is important to have bands in the Air Force," said Master Sgt. Tim Allums, trumpet player. "It paves the way and bridges the gap to the people's hearts."

After each performance, local community members waited for an opportunity to meet with band members and get an autograph.

Time and effort put in to the nine-day tour left the USAFE Concert Band members rewarded with smiles across the faces of their new Polish fans.