U.S. Air Force band visit inspires Leal musicians

Members of the United States Air Force Band of the West told stories about their travels around the world, provided musical tips and played side-by-side with Leal Middle School students during their visit on Feb. 2.

The USAF Band of the West is a musical organization with an outstanding record of achievement. The Airmen assigned to the band are highly-trained professional musicians who have dedicated themselves to serving their country through music.

Staff Sargent Daffinee with the USAF reached out to Leal band director Christopher Barrera on if the school would be interested in receiving a visit from the band. Barrera jumped on the opportunity and is glad he did.

“The students were buzzing from the level of musicianship displayed from the members of the US Air Force Band of the West,” Barrera said.

From teaching students how to properly hold a clarinet to providing tips on breathe control, students were using words like “awesome” and “amazing” to describe their experience.

Barrera and the students also enjoyed the stories of each of the band members, especially Staff Sargent Daffinee’s story on following her dream of music through education.

“Staff Sargent Daffinee began clarinet in public school, and loved clarinet so much that she studied music in college,” Barrera said. “Our students got to see real people just like them, with similar stories that had made their dreams come true. The kids left with inspiration to follow their dreams.”

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