They will be here in Oklahoma to help celebrate the upcoming football game between the Air Force Academy Falcons and the Oklahoma University Sooners. Local residents will receive an extra treat - the corps will be playing for the Altus High School Bulldogs in their first home game of the season as well.
Known as the "Flight of Sound," the corps' primary mission is to support Cadet Wing activities, including all Academy football games, such as the one with Oklahoma University at Norman, Sept. 18.
In support of that game, Altus AFB is hosting the "Air Force Past, Present and Future Celebration and Pep Rally," Sept. 17 at the Wings of Freedom Park on base, and has been fortunate enough to have the Drum and Bugle Corps play on their way to Norman.
"I cannot express in words how much we truly appreciate those men and women of the USAFA Drum and Bugle Corps taking time out of their busy schedule to come here," said Sean London, Altus AFB Base Transformation Manager.
The corps, formed in 1948, has entertained audiences world wide with its performances. They were reassigned from Washington, D.C., to the Air Force Academy in 1963 and turned over to the Cadet Wing in 1972. Since then, they have won 20 of the 30 Inter-Service Academy Drum and Bugle Corps Competitions. The corps exemplifies the precision and musical blend of a well-directed band or orchestra, and the showmanship of a Broadway production. Performing on the average of 35 times a month, they have become known as the Academy's ambassadors of precision drill and musical pageantry.
And while base personnel will get a taste of the corps' talent during the afternoon pep rally, Altus Bulldog fans will get to see their full performance during half-time at 8:30 p.m. in the game against the Lawton High School Wolverines.
But it's not just about performance for these cadets. Even with their busy schedule, they will be taking time to meet and speak with some of the Altus High School Band members about what it means to be in the corps. Mr. London said the students are eager to hear what they have to say.
"Some of these kids have the potential and the dream to be Academy Cadets themselves, in addition to the Drum and Bugle Corps," London said. "This is a unique and incredible opportunity to get some firsthand information from these dedicated young men and women."
So dedicated, that they are leaving right after their performance to travel to Norman for the Air Force/OU game. London said this will be an experience he will always appreciate.
"I have such gratitude to the corps for coming to share their gift to the community with which we share such a strong heritage and partnership - it's a true blessing," said London.
Gates open at 6 p.m. at the Hightower Stadium on September 18, with kickoff at 7:30. For more information, contact Altus AFB Public Affairs, (580) 481-7700.