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United States Air Force Band/Singing Sergeants to Perform Oct. 19

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October 10, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The world-renowned United States Air Force Band will collaborate with the Singing Sergeants -- the Air Force's official 23-voice choir -- in a free performance that will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.

Sharing their rousing musical numbers with millions of people around the globe for more than six decades, the United States Air Force Band has earned a reputation as “America's International Musical Ambassadors.” A 65-member symphonic wind ensemble, the band performs a repertoire of light classics, popular favorites, classical transcriptions and original works.

The Singing Sergeants also perform many musical styles including opera, traditional and contemporary choral literature, oratorio, folk songs, pop standards, musical theatre and jazz. Their emphasis is on the choral music of America.

Originally from Springfield, Ill., Colonel Dennis M. Layendecker, commander and music director of the United States Air Force Band, is a Northwestern School of Music alumnus. Layendecker received a master of music degree in orchestral conducting in 1981. He studied with Frederick Ockwell, associate professor of opera, conducting and ensembles.

Prior to Northwestern, Layendecker received a bachelor of music education degree from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Awarded a full piano scholarship at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium, he earned a doctorate of musical arts in conducting at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Layendecker's schooling has been followed by a 21-year Air Force career filled with medals, prizes and international performances throughout America and Europe. He has conducted the United States Air Force Band and its various ensemble components -- the Air Force Strings, Airmen of Note, Ceremonial Brass, Concert Band, Diplomats, High Flight, Silver Wings and Singing Sergeants -- in front of six American presidents, Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul II.

The Oct. 19 concert is free, but tickets are required. General admission seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons with tickets must be seated by 7:15 p.m. or they will forfeit their guarantee of a seat.

For free tickets and information, call (847)-467-4000 or visit <www.pickstaiger.com>.