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2016 Holiday Concert Series Marks Trigentennial Anniversary

  • Published
  • By Drew Nystrom
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs
Sledding at Memorial Park; ice skating in the Old Market; and prognosticating about which bowl game the Huskers play in are all longtime holiday traditions in Nebraska.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of another seasonal staple: the Offutt-based Heartland of America Band’s holiday concert series.

The 16-piece band is scheduled to conduct four free holiday-themed performances in the local community starting Dec. 10 and ending Dec. 18, 2016.

“The musical virtuosity and military professionalism demonstrated by these Airmen is a reflection of the excellence carried out by Air Force members around the globe, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” Master Sgt. Alex Serwatowski, HOAB 2016 holiday concert series producer, said.

The series will kick-off with a performance Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Glenwood Community High School Performing Arts Center in Glenwood, Iowa and is presented in partnership with the Glenwood-Opinion Tribune and the Glenwood Community School District.

After a short break, the band will perform Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. at Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Nebraska in the school’s auditorium and is presented in partnership with Suburban Newspapers.

According to MSgt. Serwatowski, the free 90-minute long concerts will be composed of 18 songs presented without intermission.

“This year’s concert is filled with familiar melodies and wonderful stories that are sure to evoke many of our favorite holiday memories,” Serwatowski said. “Highlights include classical favorites such as ‘Ave Maria,’ as well as popular holiday songs made famous by Kelly Clarkson, Bette Midler and others.”

Chief Master Sgt. Jessica Wheeldon, the HOAB’s Chief Enlisted Manager and flutist, will be featured on a virtuosic fantasia based on the English carol, “I Saw Three Ships” and the band will pay tribute to deployed service members through a multi-media presentation.

The United States Air Force Heartland of America Band is a 16-member operating location of the USAF Heritage of America Band at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Comprised of two component groups--Raptor and Offutt Brass--all members of the band occasionally come together for large scale productions such as the holiday concerts.

Information on how to get tickets for these free concerts will be posted soon on the band's website ( and Facebook page (search for USAF Heartland of America Band) as well as in ads in the Omaha World-Herald, Bellevue Leader and Glenwood Opinion-Tribune newspapers.

» Dec. 10, 2 p.m. — Glenwood Community High School
» Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. — Bellevue East High School
» Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. — Bellevue East High School
» Dec. 18, 2 p.m. — Bellevue East High School