A Flight of Sound: Academy Drum & Bugle Corps performs at Denver halftime show

  • Published
  • By Harry Lundy
  • Academy Public Affairs
Football fans at the Military Appreciation Game at Sports Authority Field Sunday night were treated to a halftime performance by the U.S. Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps.

Along with guests from the other U.S. service branches, the corps performed in front of more than 77,000 football fans there to see the Broncos tackle the Kansas City Chiefs, which they did, winning the game 27-17.

The corps played each branch of service's song as their respective service members marched onto the field during the show; fans in the stands reached out to shake hands and give the service members high-fives as they marched off the field after the performance.

"It was absolutely exhilarating," said Cadet 1st Class Hannah Wiesneski. "Just the feeling from the stands and everybody cheering and having the veterans out there with us -- it was unbelievable."

The cadets arrived at Sports Authority Field around 3 p.m. with time to relax or hone their chops before halftime. Stowed away in a building near the field, they watched the day's ongoing NFL games on large screens, flipped open their laptops to study for an upcoming examination or, in the case of Cadet 2nd Class David Stone, tuned instruments before the game's 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

"It gets down to the Air Force core value of 'excellence in all we do,'" Stone said while tuning the corps' drums. "If we're going out there with poorly tuned drums, I know I'm not doing my best."

Stone wanted to make sure the corps' drumline projected a "cleaner sound" for the audience, he said.

Scott Crump, the corps director, said he was proud of what the cadets brought to the halftime show.

"I think the biggest thing is the professionalism, how they handle themselves in front of a large audience," he said.

The history of the Drum and Bugle Corps
The U.S. Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps has performed in front of audiences across the nation since 1963. The corps was reassigned from Washington D.C. to the Academy in 1963 and officially turned over to the Cadet Wing in 1972.

Since then, the corps has won 20 of the 30 Interservice Academy Drum and Bugle Corps competitions.

Known as the "Flight of Sound," the corps' primary mission is to support Cadet Wing activities, including military formations and Academy football and basketball games. An extension of this mission continues in the community with concerts, field exhibitions, band festivals and other military ceremonies.

The corps is comprised of 120 cadets and has represented the Academy at Presidential Inaugural parades, Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades, Tournament of Roses parades, Mardi gras parades and Special Olympics opening ceremonies.