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AFCENT Celtic band
The U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs band, "Celtic Aire" performs at a concert hall for local villagers in Tamga Village, Kyrgyzstan Jan. 29, 2010 The band, comprised of four members of the "Singing Sergeants" as well as an accompanying violinist, audio engineer, and officer in charge, is touring Kyrgyzstan for eight days as part of their two-month deployment, and has had the unique opportunity to reach out to local communities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nichelle Anderson/Released)
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AFCENT Celtic band 'wows' Tamga Villagers

Posted 2/1/2010   Updated 2/3/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


2/1/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- The U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs band "Celtic Aire" rocked the Tamga House of Culture in a packed-out concert Jan. 29.

The band, comprised of four members of the "Singing Sergeants" as well as an accompanying violinist, audio engineer, and officer in charge, is touring Kyrgyzstan for eight days as part of their two-month deployment, and has had the unique opportunity to reach out to local communities.

"This is the kind of music that doesn't need to be translated," said Kerim Shatmanov, PAO of Kumtor Operating Company and the host of the overnight excursion. "We understand the song of friendship."

The bandsmen and members of the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan also enjoyed the Issyk-Kul village, where they not only were able to connect with the local population but also take part in traditional meals and listen to a sweet, spontaneous ballad from one of the chefs at the cozy dining house.

"Their hospitality was amazing, and it is just incredible that we have the opportunity to come out here and interact with the community," said Tech. Sgt. Julia Brundage, a founding member of Celtic Aire, who plays the penny whistle, Celtic flute, Bodhran (Irish drum), and sings vocals.

Although some places in the Middle East don't allow the AFCENT band to travel outside the wire, the Transit Center at Manas has established a rapport with the country of Kyrgyzstan that allows for positive interaction between cultures.

Along with Sgt. Brundage, other members of the group include Master Sgt. Eric Sullivan and Tech. Sgts. Joseph Haughton and Emily Lewis. Their audio engineer is Master Sgt. Mark Hannah, and their OIC is Maj. Keith Bland. Senior Master Sgt. Deborah Volker, violinist and member of the Air Force Strings, is deployed as the NCOIC of the group.



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