The Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic (ANGMA) will present numerous brands of band and popular music in concert Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center.
ANGMA was originally formed in 1942 in Rapid City, South Dakota as the 53rd Army Air Forces Band. Federal recognition was extended to the band in 1949.
The band, now based out of Fort Indiantown Gap as part of the Regional Support Group to the 193rd Special Operations Wing, has experienced numerous name changes and reassignments over the years, more recently as the 553rd Air Force Band, Pennsylvania Air National Guard. In 2000, the band became known by its current name, reflecting its expanded geographic area of responsibility.
Ten members of the band deployed to several undisclosed locations throughout the Middle East in 2010. This deployment was the first of its type for the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic.
The Band members performed well over 20 concerts in 40 days for allied and coalition forces, American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and Middle Eastern National during both military and civilian performances.
The deployment raised the spirits of thousands of audience members from across the globe and inspired patriotism and the American Spirit in our friends from dozens of countries.
A traditional Air National Guard squadron, the band consists of 40 members, all National Guard members with civilian careers who meet one weekend a month to rehearse and perform. Its ranks are filled with professional musicians, educators, students, administrators, salesmen, builders and other professionals. The band has received many awards, including the Air Force Outstanding Unit award and the Pennsylvania Governor's Unit Citation. Its annual concert tours have taken it to Germany, Holland, France, the Azores, Antigua-West Indies, Norway, England, Denmark, and throughout the United States.
Culinary crew members of Tamaqua's Zion Lutheran Church have volunteered to serve a meal to the 43 members of the band prior to the concert. Help has been secured but financial contributions would be appreciated. If interested in contributing, please contact the church at (570) 668-2180.
The concert is free and open to the public. Doors to the center, 125 Pine Street, will open 45 minutes prior to downbeat. Seating is limited.
For more information about the band, visit their website at www.bandofthemidatlantic.ang.af.mil .