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Air Force Band contender for AFA arts award

By C. Todd Lopez

BOLLING AFB, Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2007) -- The Air Force Band is a contender for the Air Force Association's 2007 Gill Robb Wilson Award.

Each year, the award is given by the Association to the nominee who made the most outstanding contribution in the field of arts and letters. Past winners of the award have included James Ingo Freed, Victoria Clarke, Charles Krauthammer, Ted Koppel, AIRMAN Magazine and Edward R. Murrow.

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Chief Master Sgt. Lucille Snell, director of personnel acquisitions for the Air Force Band, said she believes the Band has gone above and beyond others who may have put in for the award.

"We've done a ton of stuff, and made some very significant contributions last year that nobody else in the Air Force is making," she said.

Some of the Band's contributions in 2006 include participation in the State Funeral for President Gerald Ford. Participation in that event, Chief Snell said, exposed some half a billion people to the Air Force.

In the 2006, the Band also developed a new Web site that reached more than 480,000 visitors. The site, among other things, allows visitors to download Air Force music. The chief said last year, some 800,000 music files were downloaded from the Web site by a worldwide audience -- the equivalent to about 80,000 compact discs.

The band also participated in more than 800 funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.

Chief Snell said she is confident the Air Force Band performed well enough last year to be named recipient of the award.

"I don't know who our competition is," she said. "But they are going to have to be good to beat us."

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