Liberty Band conductor loves music, lives mission

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Lisa Spilinek
  • 66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
"Bringing so many people and instruments into one harmonious sound is like nothing else on Earth," is how 1st Lt. Dave Alpar described being the conductor and commander of the Air Force Band of Liberty, one of 10 Air Force bands in the nation.

Lieutenant Alpar, who has been assigned to Hanscom for a little more than a month, said he was excited by the opportunity to lead the 59-member band and its five performing ensembles.

"What I like best about the band is the creativity of the people, not just in making music, but in everything they do," said the lieutenant who received recognition as the 2006 Air Force Materiel Command Band Officer of the Year.

"Being a band commander is the best job in the world. I get to make music with some of the most talented people in the country and promote a product that I truly believe in," he said referring to the role of all Air Force bands to provide world-class musical products and services to support troop morale, recruiting, community relations and the preservation of national heritage.

In addition to conducting performances throughout New England, Lieutenant Alpar said he wanted to increase the band's presence at Hanscom as well. "I want to give more back to the base that has done so much to support us," he said.

Lieutenant Alpar hails from Amarillo, Texas and is the son of Hungarian immigrants who escaped the former Soviet-bloc country in 1956. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance in 1993 and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in 1996 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While he cited classical as his favorite musical genre, he also expressed an affinity for funk.

In 1997, he co-founded the Texas Youth Symphony and the St. Thomas Aquinas Brass Ensemble. He has also guest conducted bands and orchestras around the world including the Pecs Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungary and the Lieksa Chamber Orchestra, Finland.

He enlisted in the Air Force in October 2001 and performed in nine ensembles of the Air Force Band of the West, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. After being selected to become a band commander following a rigorous audition, which included conducting the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., a musical theory test and board interview with two band officers, two chief master sergeants and a Public Affairs band officer, he earned his commission through Officer Training School.

In February 2005, Lieutenant Alpar was assigned as deputy commander and associate conductor of the Air Force Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In January 2007, he was selected to serve as special assistant to the AFMC Chief of Staff.

Now that he is happily stationed at Hanscom, the self-described, "U.S. history buff," said he looks forward to exploring the area with his six daughters. "What better place to be than the cradle of liberty? Being from Texas, the winter will be interesting, but it is so beautiful here," he said.

The potential of enduring bitter winds and three-foot snow drifts hasn't diminished his enthusiasm; Lieutenant Alpar is happy to be in the Air Force.

"[My parents] sacrificed their lives so that we could be free. I feel that serving the Air Force as a musician lets me serve my country while doing something I love," Lieutenant Alpar said. "I believe in our mission and the principals that our country was founded upon."

To learn more about the Air Force Band of Liberty or for upcoming concert dates, visit All concerts are free and open to the public.