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Makin' music

U.S. Air Force band singer has local roots

U.S. Air Force band singer has local roots

August 08, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

marlob@herald-mail.com

When Master Sgt. Linda Mayes Waring stepped up to the microphone Sunday afternoon as soloist with the U.S. Air Force Concert Band, a cool breeze of pleasure swept over the crowd at Hagerstown Community College's Alumni Amphitheater.

Before singing a note, Waring got cheers from her special fan club of about a dozen or so Washington County family and friends. But after belting out two Gershwin tunes, Waring could add several hundred more fans to that club, judging by the applause.

A member of the band, as well as the Singing Sergeants since 1997, Waring is a 1986 graduate of Williamsport High School and a 1991 summa cum laude graduate of Shepherd College in vocal performance.

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The free concert was well attended, despite the extreme heat and humidity.

Waring sang "Summertime" and "S'Wonderful" to the delight of the crowd, which also faced an uphill walk to the arena. Straw hats, pith helmets and umbrellas were the fashion of the day.

Programs also served as hand fans to beat the heat.

"I try to come every time they are here," said Margaret Crawford. "This is just great, hon."

Crawford, 78, of Hagerstown, is wheelchair bound. She came with her daughter, Cindy Crawford Peck.

"If she isn't on her feet when they play 'Stars and Stripes Forever,' it will be a wonder," Peck said.

Erin Kittel, 14, came with her grandparents, Jim and Pat Kittel of Hagerstown.

"I like this kind of music," said the Smithsburg High School 10th grader who is a member of the band at her school.

Shirley Cutchall of Hagerstown said it was her first time to hear the U.S. Air Force Band.

"But I wouldn't miss it," she said as she hurried to get a good seat.

Vans from Ravenwood Lutheran Village and The Village at Robinwood pulled in just before the concert began. The vehicles were loaded with seniors who braved the weather to hear the music. Staff made sure the residents had bottled water and, in some cases, could be seated in the shade.

The program included several military marches, Gershwin tunes, popular favorites and operatic numbers.

Keeping time with the music with her hands, Crawford said she was having a terrific time despite the heat.

"Whenever I hear John Philip Sousa, I just melt," she said.

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