Offutt Brass celebrates Music in Our Schools

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/Public Affairs

The United States Air Force Heartland of America Band Offutt Brass celebrates Music in Our Schools month by visiting various elementary schools throughout Omaha and Papillion, Neb. Metropolitan area Mar. 4 – 8.

For nearly 40 years, the month of March has been officially designated Music in Our Schools month by The National Association for Music Education.  Offutt Brass is proud to lend their musical talents to bring joy to area children.

“I absolutely love doing these,” said Master Sgt. George Father, U.S. Heartland of America Band non-commissioned officer in charge of Offutt brass. “It is so cool to see the inspiration in the kids when they hear a tune that they really connect with, and seeing the uniform on stage gives them the sense of patriotism for the country and it just gets me excited to do this and share this with them.”

This allows the Offutt Brass to show off their Air Force uniforms while displaying their talents to the schools. Father’s expectation is for the Offutt Brass to inspire the next generation to find their musical talents and possibly serve their country whether that be as an Airmen in the U.S. Air Force or some other form of volunteering.  

“The purpose of the program is to help inspire children to hopefully go on and have some experiences in music,” Father said. “Really, it is to inspire them to hopefully want to serve others by joining the Air Force or finding some other way to give back.”

To Airmen 1st Class Karlee Kamminga, U.S. Heartland of America Band horn player, visiting these schools are special and she wants the children to hear more than just music from the Offutt Brass.

 “Sharing music with the Air Force band is more than just playing for kids and getting them excited about playing an instrument one day,” Kamminga said. We’re also trying to explain to them what we do in the Air Force and the greater mission and how we are supporting them and their families and our communities.”

Kamminga’s desires to continue to build upon the relationships the Offutt Brass has garnered with the elementary schools and honor the communities.   

“We are trying to connect with our community, and honor those who, maybe they have family members who have served and inspired them to join the Air Force or volunteer and play music someday.”

One of the concerts the Offutt Brass played was in Meadows Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Linda Schroeder, Meadows Elementary principal, her school was able to participate in the Music in Our School month celebration.  

“Kids enjoy music but oftentimes do not get the experience of being up close and personal to performers,” Schroeder said. “Our kids were able to learn about the instruments, witness how the band interacts and harmonizes, experience a wide variety of genres, and understand that it takes an incredible amount of practice and effort to become a skilled musician.”