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 Presidential Inaugural Parade practice
Col. Larry Lang, U.S. Air Force Band commander and conductor, leads the band in a musical selection during rehearsal for the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 11, 2013. Approximately 15,000 military personnel from 133 units will be participating in the parade January 21, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Erin O’Shea)
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Bandsmen participate in presidential inauguration parade

Posted 1/29/2013   Updated 1/29/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Nicole Leidholm
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

1/29/2013 - 25 Jan 2013 -- Two Airmen from the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West at Travis flew to Washington D.C. Jan. 9 in preparation for the presidential inauguration Jan. 21. 

"Master Sgt. Mark Craig and Airman 1st Class Ben Johnson were handpicked to be part of this performance to complete the 99-piece band utilized for this performance," said Chief Master Sgt. Edward Teleky, U. S. Air Force Band drum major.

After a manning request was sent to all the bands in the Air Force, Craig and Johnson, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West clarinet player and percussionist, jumped at the opportunity to participate.

"We went down to Washington D.C. on two TDY's," Craig said. "The first week was all rehearsals, while the second week was a media event. We had a dry run Jan. 12 with all the military units where we marched the parade route."

Members of the Air Force Band rehearsed at Joint Base Andrews to perfect each note and step of their Inaugural Parade routine.

According to Johnson, the band practiced three to five hours a day in preparation for the parade so everyone knew what they were going to do.

Craig said there was a lot of pressure on them. It was an enormous responsibility and they had to go above and beyond to look sharp. They had open ranks for the entire band and Col. Larry Lang, U.S. Air Force Band commander and conductor, individually inspected everyone.

"We looked sharp and sounded great," Craig said. "It was an honor to work with the band. This was a once in a life time thing, a great experience and the highlight of my career.

Johnson echoed that response.
"Hopefully we can be back for the 2017 Inauguration Parade," he said.

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