Artistic expressions: 'Prelude to Adventure'

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
  • 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Editor's Note: This story is part of a series focusing on Service members who use art as a form of expression.

It began with a flourishing and bellowing call to arms. Almost immediately, the brass symphony was accentuated by the deep resonance of a bass drum before being replaced by a playful, orchestral melody.

The music flowed together, hinting toward a great conclusion to this "Prelude to Adventure."

"I wanted to capture the emotion of when you are starting out on something very challenging," said U.S. Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Stephen Froeber, the freelance composer behind the music. "When you start out on the unknown, there is excitement, nervousness, naïve confidence and reflection. I want to grab all of those emotions with the movements in the piece."

The prelude began to change, as if to complement Froeber's words. A lightly-strummed guitar replaced the orchestra, while Froeber reflected on the parallels between this symphony and his own life. Although Froeber works full-time as an aerospace control and warning systems manager with the 710th Combat Operations Squadron, he also devotes much of his free time as being a freelance composer. Foreber said the skills he developed as an Airman have allowed him to build an "artistic relationship" between his role as a composer and his audience. Currently, his work has been featured in video games, interactive media and even a feature film.

"I have always been involved in music," Froeber said. "Throughout my childhood, I sang in church and my parents bought me my first guitar at age 10. I learned basic chords and taught myself the rest from there."

In his youth, Froeber said music was a form of expression and a way to communicate. From matching the notes of his favorite songs on the guitar to touring locally with bands, Froeber never lost his passion for music.

"It was a way for me to get out ideas and self-express," Froeber said. "Now, music has become much deeper for me. I see it as a vehicle to connect with people."

As a former self-proclaimed "punk rocker," Froeber said he wasn't concerned with how people received his music; he only played for himself.

"The military taught me the value of connecting with people," said Froeber. "Rather than pushing my music upon the listeners, I see it as a dialogue between my music and the audience."

Froeber saw firsthand how music reached both Airmen and civilians during his time touring with the Air Force's premier entertainment showcase, Tops in Blue.

"Tops in Blue was a great experience," Froeber said. "Ironically, it taught me that touring as a musician was not what I wanted to do. Being on the road all the time was not as glamorous as I thought it would be."

From this realization, Froeber said he discovered that writing and creating his own music was his true passion. He said the values gleaned from the Air Force were instrumental in his goal to be a successful freelance composer.

"The Air Force taught me the value of getting in there, doing my work quickly and efficiently and moving on to the next job," Froeber said. "Instead of waiting around, wondering and taking my time with a project, I can [make] a goal, focus on it and work it to completion."

After deciding to start his own business, Froeber applied organizational and multi-tasking skills he learned through the military.

"Sometimes it's hard for a creative person to take on a project that requires a high-level of attention to smaller details," he said. "Fortunately, the Air Force taught me to stay focused so the larger goals can be achieved."

As Froeber continues on his "adventurous" journey, he said there will be high and low points. Just as his music takes listeners on an emotional journey, he expects his career as a freelance composer and an Airman to be the crescendo, leading to the climax of his "Prelude to Adventure."