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Air Force band entertains Sacramento

Capt. Haley Armstrong, commander and conductor of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, directs the band during a holiday concert performance at the Sacramento Convention Center Nov. 30, 2011. The Band of the Golden West plays as many as 350 performances, ceremonies and military events every year, and can be broken into six smaller groups including a rock band. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown/RELEASED)

Capt. Haley Armstrong, commander and conductor of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, directs the band during a holiday concert performance at the Sacramento Convention Center Nov. 30, 2011. The Band of the Golden West plays as many as 350 performances, ceremonies and military events every year, and can be broken into six smaller groups including a rock band. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown/RELEASED)

A bass player performs with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West plays during a free community holiday concert at the Sacramento Convention Center Nov. 30, 2011. The 45 piece Band of the Golden West plays as many as 350 performances, ceremonies and military events every year, and can be broken into six smaller groups including a rock band. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown/RELEASED)

A bass player performs with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West plays during a free community holiday concert at the Sacramento Convention Center Nov. 30, 2011. The 45 piece Band of the Golden West plays as many as 350 performances, ceremonies and military events every year, and can be broken into six smaller groups including a rock band. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown/RELEASED)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., -- Sacramento area residents were treated to a night of holiday music by the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West who performed a free concert at the Sacramento Community Convention Center Nov. 30.

The two hour event was kicked off by an introduction from Beale's 9th Mission Support Group commander, Col. Douglas Barron, who talked briefly about the base and the people who work at the base.

"The men and women at Beale are honored to serve this great nation. We are very proud of them and you should be too," he said. "Let us not forget those who are in harm's way, and that we keep them in our hearts and prayers."

The Band of the Golden West is a 45 piece group, and includes a full time rock band. The band can also be broken up into six smaller groups allowing for multiple performances and appearances. The holiday concert included 40 players, a vocalist and a performance by the Honeybee Trio, a local group that sings classics from the 1930s and 40s swing era.

"We perform at 350 events per year, with a mix of taps, national anthem, promotion and retirement ceremonies and military and civic outreach, which is about two thirds of what we do," said Master Sgt. Sherry Burt, band director of operations and a flute and piccolo player. "We work very closely with the bases to reach out to their communities.

Community outreach is a big part of what we do; the music draws them in and we can message in between the pieces; it's very important that we support all the bases in our region."

In addition to musical performances, the band is also responsible for all organizational tasks including travel arrangements, associated with running their squadron.

"Everyone has an administrative duty to run the squadron, and to provide professional music services," Burt said. We are some of the most highly trained people in the Air Force; a lot of people here have multiple degrees in music and are very capable professional musicians."

During his remarks, Barron talked about the professionalism of the band, and the Beale members who live and work in this community, and thanked the audience for their support.

"It is through the support of strong communities, such as the one in northern California, that the Air Force is able to continue its mission," he said.