LAWRENCEVILLE - Maj. Chad Steffey has played some of the biggest arenas in the country. No, not Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden or even Philips Arena. Steffey has performed on the stages of the White House, the Washington National Cathedral and even the United States Senate.
A native of Oklahoma and now a resident of Warner Robins, Steffey joined the ranks of the U.S. Air Force music program in 1993 as a percussionist. He, along with the fellow members of the Air Force's Concert Band, will perform Monday at the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center.
Presented by the Gwinnett Daily Post, the concert will feature the 43-piece band, which is known as the largest and most versatile unit band of the Air Force Reserves, performing a variety of musical genres.
With an ever-expanding repertoire, the band is adept in the sounds of classical overtures, Sousa marches, Broadway show tunes and pop numbers. The concert band also encompasses several sub-unit bands, each with its own unique musical blend.
The Full Spectrum unit performs contemporary and traditional big band selections, and the BlueNotes section pulls its songs from a cache of blues, jazz and Latin influences. Taking on ethnic tunes, the Pipe Band dresses the part in Scottish attire, while the Southern Aire section plays Celtic pieces.
Every year, the concert band travels some 100,000 miles to perform more than 500 concerts in the Southeast and abroad, including in Russia, Italy, Antigua and Portugal in past years.
In 1992, the band became the first foreign military band to parade through the Red Square in the once-communist city of Moscow. It was also the only foreign band to perform in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Victory in Europe Day Parade in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1995.
All musicians of the Concert Band are members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
The concert is free, but attendees are asked to bring canned goods to be donated to the Gwinnett County food pantry.
SideBar: If you go
' What: Gwinnett Daily Post presents the U.S. Air Force Reserves Concert Band
' When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
' Where: Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville
' Cost: Admission is free, but concert-goers are asked to bring canned goods for the Gwinnett County food pantry.
' Info: Call 770-963-9205 or visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com.