Airmen of Note visit Western New York

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kylar Vermeulen
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Col. Lara Morrison, commander of the 914th Air Refueling Wing, hosted the Airmen of Note (the Note) at Williamsville South High School in Williamsville, New York, May 1, 2023. The Airmen of Note is one of the six performing ensembles and is the premiere jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band (USAFB).

The history: The Note was created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force's dance band. Through the years, the Note has performed throughout the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, toured the United States, and deployed around the world. Today, the music performed by the Note continues to reflect the excellence displayed by all Airmen stationed worldwide.

The mission: Honor those who served, inspire American citizens to heightened sense of patriotism and service, and connect with the global community on behalf of the United States and the Air Force Band.

The future: The Note is looking to increase visibility, partnerships, make connections and remain engaged with the jazz community to continue representation of Airmen around the world.

“Going out into communities, we hope to inspire and connect with people and Airmen alike,” Master Sgt. Chris Ziemba, pianist and non-commissioned officer in charge of flight operations for the Note stated in an interview. “The average American may not see the fighter pilots or the maintainers, or any number of the important career fields that make big Air Force work, but they may see us.”

Ziemba is a native of Buffalo, New York, and was highlighted numerous times throughout the band’s performance, most notably with a composition named Wellspring, written by Ziemba himself during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We will be representing Airmen across the globe, and it’s our pleasure and honor to do so.” Ziemba added.

The Note is coming out of the pandemic with their newest recording “Out of the Clouds,” a full-of-life track with songs that Chief Master Sgt. Brian MacDonald, the lead trumpeter and flight chief of the Note says just bring out the feelings of hope and resolve, which he hopes can bring us all closer together. Ziemba’s Wellspring is included.

“And one more mention of Buffalo's own Chris Ziemba, what a fantastic addition he is to not only Airmen of Note, but to the Air Force as well,” MacDonald stated. “He’s an amazing musician and I couldn’t say enough as to what he brings to the team, we are lucky to have him.”

For more information on the Airmen of Note and the Air Force Band, visit