Heartland of America Band plans free concerts at Bayliss Park, Glenwood | Local News

As Independence Day approaches, the Heartland of America Band will perform several shows around the metro area to celebrate the history behind the US Air Force’s 75th anniversary.

“They’re going to parallel the growth of the Air Force with the spirit of America and our history over the past 75 years,” Master Sgt. Ryan Heseltine, the NCO in charge of the group.

Free and family concerts “Sounds of Freedom” will take place:

Sunday June 26, Davies Amphitheater in Glenwood

Tuesday, June 28, SumTur Amphitheater at Papillion

Wednesday June 29, Bayliss Park at Council Bluffs

Friday, June 1, Rockbrook Village Shopping Center in Omaha

All shows start at 7 p.m. and should last just over an hour.

Heseltine said the shows will feature the band’s biggest performing lineup, combining his rock band and brass quintet. Audiences will hear rock ‘n’ roll, country, jazz, American classical and popular music from the 1940s through today.

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“We’re going to start with music that goes back to the early days of the Air Force with the music of Glenn Miller, who was an Air Force officer who sort of reinvented military music in his time,” Heseltine said. “We’re going to dive into things like jazz, and then we’ll go through the eras in the 50s and 60s, heading into Korea and Vietnam, and then the music of the 60s and 70s. We’re also getting into a bit of different styles of music that are unique, with country music and some of our biggest inspirations that we’ve also reinvented. There’s actually a little homage to the Beatles.

The show even includes a bit of disco as it marches in contemporary popular music, as well as traditional patriotic selections, during which veterans and service members will be honored. A narrator will guide the audience through the story accompanying the selections.

“It feels very fluid in a way, like a story being told,” Heseltine said. “We just give as much music as we can and paint pictures for people too.”

Heseltine serves as the program’s executive producer of sorts, and the musicians all have a role to play in the logistics and editing of the show. He said they aim to appeal to everyone who comes to the shows, regardless of age or background.

“Our program will have something for everyone and people will be proud of America and their Air Force when the program ends,” Heseltine said. “We certainly look forward to seeing them and even having the chance to meet them afterwards.”

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