Band of the Golden West
Though known by different names over the decades, the band’s history dates back to 1941. In 2004, the USAF Band of the Golden West was honored to support the interment ceremony of President Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley, an event viewed by a global TV audience of over 400 million. The official Air Force Band has led off three Tournament of Roses parades in Pasadena. More recent events include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.
In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.
The band performs a wide variety of music, including military marches, Broadway standards, jazz and pop arrangements, and patriotic music.
Hopefully, the Air Force Band will sing a medley of military songs, in addition to “Wild Blue Yonder” (The Air Force Song).
Back when certain of ICN’s more seasoned staffers were in public elementary school, singing the official songs of the branches of the U.S. military was part of music class.
Today, we’re not sure how many young students would recognize these lyrics: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land, and sea.”
Or: “Here they come zooming to meet our thunder; at ‘em boys, Give ‘er the gun!”
Or even: “Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh. Farewell to foreign shores, we sail at break of day.”
Which is too bad, because those songs were sure fun to sing, what with the toasting and drinking to the foam.
Irvine is of course home to the hallowed land that was long the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. So, while the Air Force band is in Irvine, we’d love to hear them sing the final verse of the Marines’ Hymn:
“If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.”