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Band members win awards

Posted 2/1/2012   Updated 2/1/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stahl and Airman 1st Class Rachel Maclary
United States Air Force Band of Liberty

2/1/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Three members of the United States Air Force Band of Liberty were recently chosen as winners for the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) 2011 Public Affairs Communication Excellence awards.

The unit captured three out of the four categories for this year's award cycle. These awards recognize outstanding actions and superior job performance while providing the Air Force message and building relationships with its own members and the outside community, both in the United States and across the globe.

Chief Master Sgt. Laura Noel, United States Air Force Band of Liberty band manager, explained how proud she was of her members.

"Our Airmen musicians are passionate about what they do: sharing the Air Force story with the public, both in the United States and abroad, as well as bringing a bit of home to our military members around the globe," she said. "It's wonderful to see their dedication recognized not only within the United States Air Force band community, but also within the public affairs community."

Noel explained that she loves seeing them win awards, but it's also gratifying just to hear them play.

"I am proud of the work they do each and every day and stand proud whenever I get to hear them perform," she said. "Whether it's an online clip on Facebook, a live concert or in the studio listening to them record."

Capt. David Alpar, Outstanding Company Grade Officer
Alpar, the band's commander, led a 45-member squadron with 13 different ensembles. Under his direction, they gave 299 performances for more than two million live audience members, relaying the Air Force message across eight different states. In addition, he was the officer in charge of the United States Air Forces Central (AFCENT) band, leading missions to eight nations across Southwest Asia, reaching more than 45,000 deployed troops and local citizens.

Alpar was the executive producer on two in-house CDs, which included 200 hours of editing, mastering and configuring, saving the band $100,000 in studio time and equipment rental fees. These discs earned two awards in the Air Force media contest: Outstanding Recording of an Original Work and Outstanding Recording of a Single Work.

Master Sgt. Jennifer E. Dashnaw, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer
Dashnaw performed as a clarinetist and vocalist on 73 events for more than two million audience members. As the NCO in charge of the clarinet quartet, she programmed music and rehearsed and executed performances for 24 community relations events over an eight state region. She also appeared with the quartet on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program Sept. 11, 2011, for millions of people live on 532 national radio stations across the nation and also via the web.

Dashnaw serves as the NCO in charge of the supply shop where she saved the unit $15,000 in costs related to instrument acquisition, repair and upkeep. She also initiated a trade program with local venders, giving the band $85,000 available in store credit to help further the mission.

Airman 1st Class Carolyn M. Sierichs, Outstanding Airman
Sierichs performed as a piccolo and flutist for 81 events in front of more than two million people with the Band of Liberty, and also performed on short notice TDYs with the concert bands of the United States Air Force Band of Flight and the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band. She performed as a feature flute soloist for holiday concerts in three states, reaching more than 8,000 people live and via the radio.

As a member of the social media team, she helped bring in 129 new fans and more than 32,000 views to the unit's Facebook page. Sierichs was also selected to attend the Public Affairs 101 workshop, which included more than 40 hours of professional training in public affairs and helped broaden the unit's publicity capabilities.

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