In schools across the Detroit area, smiling fans reached out, arms raised, to get closer to an Air Force band as they played a selection of fan favorites from throughout the years.
The Band of Mid-America’s rock band, Starlifter, arrived with music in their hearts, in mid-March when they took to Detroit as part of their “Music In Our Schools” initiative in hopes of inspiring a future generation of Airmen.
Tech. Sgt. Mike Correa, Starlifter NCO in charge, said he feels the band is an effective means of communicating specific themes across to younger audiences, without it feeling forced.
“The Air Force relies on the support of the (American) people, but they don’t get to see the day-to-day work the Airmen do,” Correa said. “The band gets to reach out to the community through music and tell them all about the great things Airmen are doing day-in and day-out to protect their freedoms.”
Starlifter shares messages about the Air Force and Air Mobility Command within their act.
“We work hard to incorporate messaging into the performance so that it’s a nice, seamless flow,” said Correa. “The audience has a great time, but they also learn something about the Air Force mission and might not even realize they learned it. Music is a great tool for doing that.”
Throughout the week, the band played for children of all ages in five different Detroit schools. One of the schools visited was Spain Elementary Middle School, known for its performance arts program.
Frederick Cannon, Spain EMS principal, said he thought Starlifter’s engagement with the students during their performance was well received.
“Watching the Airmen show off their talent and getting the kids to sing with them was outstanding,” said Cannon. “I think they might’ve inspired a few future Airmen who didn’t realize this could be a job in the Air Force.”