PACAF band members perform in Hawaii International Music Festival

Sandra Aldaz Meraz sings.

Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman

15th Wing Public Affairs

Members from the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Hawaii joined a group of internationally acclaimed musicians for one of the Hawaii International Music Festival’s concerts at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 11.

Tech. Sgts. Anthony Balester and Ryan Leatherman, saxophonists with the Band of the Pacific-Hawaii, performed during the “Honoring Our Troops” concert, in a style they rarely have a chance to explore.

“The concert is primarily classical music, which falls outside of the PACAF Band’s mission,” Leather-man said.

The Band of the Pacific-Hawaii primarily focuses on performing pop, jazz or island style music.

“I have a passion for chamber music, so I jumped at the chance to play with some of the visiting musicians,” Balester said.

Together, they teamed up with eight other musicians to introduce audiences to an evening of music featuring one of classical music’s newest additions, the saxophone.

“The saxophone has actually become a favorite of composers of new works within the last 30 to 50 years,” Leatherman said. “It doesn’t have the same history as the piano or violin.”

By working together the Hawaii International Music Festival and the Band of the Pacific-Hawaii were able to meet their shared goals: enrich the community and use music to bridge cultural gaps.

“Leonard Bernstein said it best: ‘for heights and depths no words can reach, music is the souls own speech,'” Leatherman said. “Music has a way of connecting folks from across cultural and language barriers. Because of this we are able to connect with people in ways the rest of the military can’t.”

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Category: Life & Leisure