Pictured from L-R at StarCity: Master Sergeant Dale Eley (Blue Aces), Julie Miller (StarCity), John Andrea (StarCity), Master Sergeant Ron Larsen (Blue Aces), Staff Sergeant Natalie Madison (Blue Aces), Zak Rizvi (StarCity), Technical Sergeant Brent Swaney (Blue Aces), Technical Sergeant Mike Shepperd (Blue Aces), Master Sergeant Eldon Sully (Blue Aces) and Senior Airman Andre Rascoe (Blue Aces).
The Blue Aces, a component of the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, recorded an original 12-track CD expected to be released in early 2008, at StarCity Recording Company in Bethlehem, Penn. The military rock band created and recorded original material; music and lyrics were written and arranged entirely by bandmembers.
The CD contains a variety of musical styles, ranging from sentimental country and patriotic tunes to hard rock, targeted toward the younger generations of Air Combat Command and the Air Force. Zak Rizvi engineered the project, which was multitracked in Studio A and overdubbed and mixed in StarCity’s “Plus” room. Jeff Glixman, Jim Gentile, Lily Salinas, John Andrea and Julie Miller were also involved in the project.
Pictured from L-R at StarCity: Staff Sergeant Natalie Madison, Technical Sergeant Brent Swaney, Master Sergeant Dale Eley, Senior Airman Andre Rascoe and Master Sergeant Ron Larsen.
“I was the rookie producer on this project and learned a great deal in the process,” says Master Sergeant Dale Eley. “I was fortunate to receive agreat deal of wise advice from Jeff, Zak and other members of the StarCity family.”
The unit commander appoints the Blue Aces; the current personnel have been together since October 2006. Members include Master Sergeant Eley, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC), musical director and bass; Master Sergeant Eldon Sully, guitar; Master Sergeant Ron Larsen, keyboards; Technical Sergeant Mike Shepperd, drums/percussion; Technical Sergeant Brent Swaney, sax and audio engineer; Staff Sergeant Natalie Madison, vocals; and Senior Airman Andre Rascoe, vocals. All of the musicians in the Blue Aces have performed with concert bands, big bands, jazz combos and more.
“It is very common for the needs of the Air Force to require relocations, and people frequently retire,” continued Master Sergeant Eley. “We are fortunate to be able to take advantage of this opportunity to make an original CD that will permanently bond the seven of us together.”
The Blue Aces perform their variety of popular music styles for civilian and military audiences alike, at military functions and in forward deployed locations in support of the men and women in the U.S. armed forces. They perform at festivals and large events to spread the messages of the Air Force to the general public. The band also performs at schools and public functions in support of recruiters.
Pictured from L-R at StarCity: Lily Salinas (StarCity), Julie Miller (StarCity), Master Sergeant Ron Larsen (Blue Aces), Staff Sergeant Natalie Madison (Blue Aces), Senior Airman Andre Rascoe (Blue Aces), Master Sergeant Eldon Sully (Blue Aces), Technical Sergeant Mike Shepperd (Blue Aces), Master Sergeant Dale Eley (Blue Aces) and John Andrea (StarCity).
“The technical resources and amenities offered by StarCity were clearly the best choice for this particular project,” continued Master Sergeant Eley. “The facilities are simply incredible. They have terrific spaces and state-of-the-art gear. The thought and ergonomic foresight put into the design of the building and every room proved extremely logical and conducive to making great music, comfortably.”
The CD will be available for download on the Heritage of America Band’s Website (www.heritageofamericaband.af.mil) as soon as mastering is complete. The target date for completion is October 2007.
“I assigned Master Sergeant Eley and the Blue Aces to record an album that will inspire the men and women of the Air Force, our sister services and allies, as well as our fellow Americans,” says Major Douglas Monroe, Commander of the USAF Heritage of America Band. “The Blue Aces returned from StarCity with a recording of great music. I couldn’t be prouder with the results they’ve achieved.”
The USAF Heritage of America Band is an Air Force band with 47 musicians, comprised of several musical groups. The two major groups are the Blue Aces and the Concert Band. The Concert Band breaks down further into a jazz ensemble, and various smaller groups including a brass quintet, woodwind quintet and a Celtic ensemble.
For more information, visit www.starcityrecording.com.