Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder....

As I type this, we are now in Greeley after a fantastic day of activities and sight-seeing.

Day two's activities began at Peterson AFB, home of the Falconaires, the Air Force Academy's Jazz Ensemble. It's a professional military group that serves to promote the Air Force Academy and the USAF music program. Their members are accepted only by audition and have trained in some of the top music schools in the country. The Falconaires treated us to a performance, clinic, and tour of the facility. During their performance, our students were able to sit in with the band and watch their skill up-close. Afterwards, our students played and received great suggestions and then heard a performance of their music by the members of the Falc's. The group then broke up and received small-group clinics led by the pros. You can hear how great the Falcolnaires play by clicking here: It is from their latest release that, along with some USAF Academy swag, was given to every student.

After a filling lunch at the Golden Corral, we made our way over to the Air Force Academy. While there we toured the academy grounds, Visitor's Center and saw a video about the academy. The highlight of the visit, however, was our trip to the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. Built in 1963 by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (the same firm that constructed the Sears Tower & John Hancock Building), it actually features four chapels of different denominations - Protestant, Catholic, Judaism, and Buddhist. Its most prominent feature are 17 enormous spires. Soaring 150 feet in the air, the chapel can be easily seen from Interstate 25, several miles to the east. According to their website, "The Cadet Chapel staff's mission is to inspire men and women to become leaders of character through spiritual formation."

Our tour guide, Donna Hoffman, then led us on a bus tour of Denver. While there we saw the state capitol, performing arts center, Lower Downtown (LODO), Coors Field, Pepsi Center, Invesco Field at Mile High, and some of the city's historic buildings. We concluded our day with dinner, a traveling Mariachi band, arcade, and other entertainment at Casa Bonita.

Time for some sleep.

Here is a slideshow of today's activies:

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