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Academy Band leader nominated for regional Emmy
Air Force Academy Band leader Lt. Col. Don Schofield, right, speaks with producer Bill Turner at a rehearsal for the Emmy-nominated production, “Holiday Notes from Home” in October 2011. (Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Don Schofield)
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Academy Band conductor nominated for regional Emmy

Posted 1/11/2013   Updated 1/11/2013 Email story   Print story


by Amber Baillie
Academy Spirit staff writer

1/11/2013 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The commander and conductor of the Air Force Academy Band may soon be clutching an award statuette from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Lt. Col. Don Schofield was nominated for a regional Emmy award this year for his 2011 production of "Holiday Notes from Home" and will attend the 27th Midsouth Emmy Awards Jan. 26 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

"In our planning and execution of this mission, we never set out to garner an Emmy award nomination," Schofield said. "It is very gratifying to know that this product that we designed to bring a touch of home to our deployed men and women has been recognized by the civilian industry for excellence."

The hour-long holiday production was recorded at the Grand Ole Opry and broadcast to more than 1 million service members and their families in 177 countries on Christmas Day via the Armed Forces Network. The performance featured the Band of the Air Force Reserve, and country music artists Little Big Town and Lee Ann Womack. Three Academy band members also performed: Chief Master Sgt. Randy Doersch, Senior Master Sgt. Sandra Tiemens and Master Sgt. Sarah Balian.

"The opportunity for a military band to compete head-to-head with some of the top names in the entertainment industry validates the fact that our talented Airmen can compete on a national scale with the best entertainers in the United States," Schofield said.

The Great American Country channel also aired the show, broadcasting the production 11 times to 60 million households across the country. The production is one of four Emmy finalists selected from almost 1,000 nominations.

"That kind of relentless commitment results in public trust and draws talented young men and women to the Air Force and most specifically, to the Air Force Academy," said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Burditt, manager of the Band of the Air Force Reserve.

Schofield assumed command of the Air Force Academy Band in August 2012 and prior to that, was the commander and conductor of the Band of the Air Force Reserve.

This is Schofield's second Emmy nomination. He was first nominated in 2010 for his 2009 production of "Holiday Notes from Home" featuring recording artists Amy Grant and Take 6.

"The Emmy nomination reminds people all across the nation that the Air Force Academy is overflowing with quality and zeal for unparalleled excellence in every endeavor they undertake," Burditt said. "Schofield is also one of the finest conductors in the music industry."

Schofield was notified about the nomination in November and will attend the award ceremony with the producers and co-nominees of the production, Bill Turner, Jay Willis and retired Chief Master Sgt. Dave Ballengee.

"Winning the Emmy Award is not what is important," Schofield said. "The important note is that the Air Force is considered an industry leader. This type of messaging and positive exposure for both the Air Force and the Air Force Academy is a cost effective way of projecting the brand of the Air Force to millions of people worldwide. It is truly an honor to simply be nominated."

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