Sunset on Air National Guard Bands: Sidewinder Rocks on 'til Curtain Call
MSNBC reports today that the Air National Guard plans to phase out six of its eleven regional concert bands.
One particular rock band, Sidewinder, became an internet and media phenomenon almost overnight, making it all the way to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Sidewinder's front woman, Tech. Sgt. Angie Johnson even competed on NBC's "The Voice" last year.
Even though Sidewinder won the hearts of millions, and brought recognition to the military band program, it wasn't enough to keep them touring. Sad to say, the ANG's decision to phase out concert bands means Sidewinder will be decommissioned, no longer providing bluesy tunes to the troops.
But Johnson doesn't plan on letting this little set back stop her; she intends to let her music career continue even after the lights go out and unit stands down in September next year.
Maj. John Arata, Commander of the unit, was grateful for the time they spent touring: "The opportunity to support troops...especially for those of us who have been able to deploy to the Middle East, who have that meaningful experience of relieving the stress of life in a forward, deployed location – has been a very distinctive privilege for us."
We look forward to hearing more from Sidewinder in the future.
- The other five Air National Guard bands scheduled to shut their instrument cases for good in 2013 include units based in Georgia, Ohio, Washington, California and Massachusetts.