Air Force’s Blue Steel to go full throttle at Freeman Stage
SELBYVILLE — Among the many duties of the U.S. Air Force is community relations and recruitment.
Enter Blue Steel, an all-active duty band tasked with telling the Air Force’s story through the awesome power of high-energy rock ‘n’ roll.
Blue Steel is teaming up with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra today at the Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville for a full-throttle, mash-up concert of classic and modern rock favorites.
If it seems like an odd partnership, music and the military have gone together for centuries.
“Right now, the Air Force Academy Band is about a 60-piece ensemble, and they have a concert band and a jazz band, along with several small chamber ensembles, and then one of the autonomous groups is Blue Steel,” explained Senior Airman Colin Trusedell, tour manager and bass player for the group. “We play all the Top 40 music, and we support the Air Force Academy in their recruiting, trying to get the best and brightest. That’s the main mission: representing the Air Force Academy around the world.”
On June 13, the group was slated to sing the national anthem at a Baltimore Orioles game.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Trusedell said of the band’s upcoming schedule. “We have a five-part arrangement for that. Then, the next couple of days we’re going to be playing two concerts that are open and free to the public at the Freeman Stage at Bayside.
“The one concert on Friday night is going to be a really cool thing. We’ve got all these arrangements of classic rock tunes with a rock band pooled with an orchestra. So it sounds amazing — it’s going to be a killer concert.
The symphony will open the evening before joining forces with Blue Steel.
“We’re going to collaborate and do a mash-up of ‘Back in Black’ and ‘We Will Rock You,’ ” Trusedell said. “We’ve also got the Kings of Leon tune ‘Use Somebody’ — there’s a lot of cool contemporary stuff but mixed with the orchestra, it sounds really cool.”
Most of the band members have degrees in music, including Trusedell, who earned a full scholarship to the University of Miami. He eventually earned a degree in music business.
“That’s kind of why I’m the tour manager,” he quipped.
“One of the biggest things that we like people to think about and feel good about is just having a sense of being an American — giving them pride. This is an old tradition; military bands are a very old tradition. And I’ve had the pleasure of being in the Navy — and I played in a band in the Navy — and I recently came into the Air Force, and it’s the same type of thing: the pride, the sense of being a citizen of this country.
“This is one of the things that your tax dollars are paying for, and we want the public to have the best concerts that they can possibly have. And during this tour, we’re going to have a really good couple of concerts.”
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