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News > Spectrum Winds Offers Music Therapy at Haven for Hope
Spectrum Winds Offers Music Therapy at Haven for Hope

Posted 11/22/2013   Updated 11/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by A1C Jennifer Daffinee
USAF Band of the West

11/22/2013 - San Antonio, Texas -- This year the Band of the West has welcomed over twenty-five new members allowing us to form several new ensembles and increase our number of local concerts. Additionally, we have continued to spread the Air Force's mission of goodwill and support to those in need. Spectrum Winds, our newly formed wind quintet, achieved this exact mission in early September with a performance at Haven for Hope in the downtown San Antonio area.

Haven for Hope is a rehabilitation program and "a place of hope and new beginnings for people in Bexar County experiencing homelessness." They offer both shelter and basic needs services with a separate fulltime center providing lodging, food, and programs to get patrons sober and back on their feet. On Saturday, September 7, Haven volunteer activities coordinator Julian Ledezma hosted Spectrum during their evening meal time to provide residents with an entertaining break from their usual evening routine. Spectrum brought the highest standards of musical excellence to their audience with passion and flair. They opened with Bizet's Carmen Fantasia and continued to display their versatility through the music of Cambini, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Gershwin's Piano Preludes, and a modern funk/groove work by Imani Wind's French Hornist Jeff Scott entitled Startin' Somethin'. Spectrum paid tribute to our troops, veterans, and their families with a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful and concluded with their trademark encore Flight of the Bumblebee. This performance was a part of Spectrum's inaugural tour and featured new members TSgt Charles Lawyer, percussion, and A1C Kathleen Tennyson, Oboe who transferred from the USAF Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB, MA.

Staff Sergeant Melissa Evans, Spectrum's french hornist, inquired about the concert because of her previous engagements there with the USAA Band where she observed first-hand the therapeutic role music has for Haven residents. Master Sergeant Cynthia Bailey, Spectrum's fearless leader, believes the group's mission at Haven for Hope was to "entertain and connect with a community that would not typically have the opportunity to enjoy live music, especially from military performers." She notes that, "our job is to express that which cannot be expressed through other mediums such as spoken or written word to audiences young and old alike."

Our performance was well-received and audience members enjoyed learning a little about each member's background as we engaged with them between pieces. They were also quick to discuss our instruments and composers, their favorite being Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov! After our concert we were greeted by a crowd of patrons who thanked us for providing "therapy for their soul."

This was Haven's first performance by an Air Force ensemble and Spectrum is honored they could convey the Air Force's humanitarian effort "to provide hope however we can."

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