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Jazz professor tours with Air Force Academy Band Falconaires

March 29, 2010

Wil Swindler, Colorado State University special assistant professor of jazz studies, received a special invitation to tour with the Air Force Academy Band Falconaires, one of two premier jazz ensembles in the Air Force.

Played tenor saxophone

Swindler, who played tenor saxophone, performed three concerts in Denver with the Falconaires on Feb. 3-5, as part of the Mile High Jazz Festival. The group then performed at Kansas Weslyan University in Salina, Kan., and at the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference in Wichita.

The goal of the tour was to raise awareness about the Air Force, specifically what Air Force bands have to offer for career-oriented students.

"Civilian manning assist"

Swindler was included as a “civilian manning assist,” a situation where the military invites a qualified civilian to cover the duty of a member absent for training, school, or personal reasons.

While with the band, Swindler rehearsed the ensemble on Fair Play, a piece the Falconiers recently commissioned Swindler to write for an upcoming recording project in May. He was also the featured concert soloist on the piece.

In addition to teaching at CSU, Swindler leads his band Elevenet, and is a member of the 9th+Lincoln Orchestra in Denver. Falconaiers leader Scott Crump, and other band members, have enjoyed Swindler’s performing and writing for the two ensembles and “were nice enough to ask me to contribute to their library and their next CD,” said Swindler.

More about the Falconaiers

As one of the Air Force’s two premier jazz ensembles, the Falconaires have brought the great sounds of Big Band Jazz to national audiences for more than 50 years. This group of 18 full-time jazz musicians specializes in the best of past, present and future by performing traditional and contemporary big band jazz. To this mix, “Falcs” members add their own compositions and fresh orchestrations.

The band has appeared at such prestigious events as the Monterey and Clearwater Jazz Festivals and Musicfest Canada, in addition to numerous performances at International Association of Jazz Educators’ Conferences.

Falconaires members are some of the most sought-after clinicians and performers in America. A driving force in the jazz world, The Air Force Academy Bands’ Falconaires play a major role in cultivating our national heritage through its only indigenous musical genre, jazz.


Contact: Jennifer Clary
E-mail: jennifer.clary@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-3603