Free concert Tuesday kicks off Air Force Academy anniversary rites

April 1, 2014 Updated: April 1, 2014 at 9:05 am
photo - Aerial photo of the United States Air Force Academy March 17, 2010. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette.
Aerial photo of the United States Air Force Academy March 17, 2010. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette. 

A concert at the Air Force Academy on Tuesday will mark the 60th anniversary of the school in the first of three events to celebrate its founding.

The academy calls April 1 its birthday because that's the day in 1954 that President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation authorizing the school.

The Air Force Academy Band will perform at 7 p.m. in the academy's Arnold Hall. Tickets for the concert must be picked up in advance. They are available at the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance at 102 S. Tejon St., The Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 300 Colorado 105 in Monument, and at the Arnold Hall ticket office.

"The band has been part of the academy since its inception in 1955," Randy Doersch, the band's director of operations, said in a statement. "It's certainly been an honor to represent the academy around the world and to the leaders it produces for our nation."

On Friday, the academy will honor retired Gen. William R. Looney, class of 1972, and Bart Holaday, class of 1965, as distinguished graduates following the school's noon formation. Visitors to the academy can watch the rites from overlooks near the Cadet Chapel.

The week of events culminates Saturday with the academy's Founder's Day Parade.

The north gate off Interstate 25 will open to visitors at 8 a.m. Saturday for the 10 a.m. event at Stillman Parade Field.

The parade features music and 4,000 cadets in dress uniforms on the march.

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