On the Wings of the Eagle Squadrons
From 1998 to 2001 the composer was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, home of the 4th Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Force. The 4th Fighter Wings long and honored history began as a group of American pilots flying for the British during World War II who were organized into the RAF Eagle Squadrons. Every Friday the flyers of the 4th Fighter Wing still proudly wear their Eagle Squadron emblems. This march, the fourth of a series of marches for various Air Force units, was written in honor of the original Yanks to whom the 4th Fighter Wing owes its heritage. Note the quotation of Swords With Wings in the breaking strain, a musical reminder that the 4th Fighter Wing is part of Air Combat Command. In a technique most uncharacteristic of a Sousa-style march, the melody of the third strain is given to the horns, in order to evoke the feeling of soaring to new heights.
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