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Air Academy Marching Band Facts:

  • Established in 1957 with only 20 students, this year (2017-18) the band has approximately 196 members, and is one of the largest marching bands in the state of Colorado. This is the largest marching band ever at Air Academy HS.


  • Marching band rehearsals take place in an area below the training flight pattern from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA.) Flyovers by gliders and other aircraft, as well as parachute training and even the USAF Thunderbirds are common sights during afternoon practices.
  • 2018 marks the second appearance for AAHS in the Rose Parade®; the first time Air Academy performed in the Rose Parade was in 1992.
  • Nestled at the foot of the Colorado Rockies, at an altitude approximately 1.2 miles above sea level, Air Academy High school band enjoys a unique high altitude location for training.


  • AAHS Band 2017-18 STUDENT Fun-Facts
    •  10 students who are participating in the Rose Parade are flying for the first time in their lives
    • 52 students are making their first trip to California
    • 38 students are seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time on this trip
    • 2 students have parents who have marched in the Rose Parade, making them 2nd generation Rose Parade marchers. A 3rd student has an uncle who marched in the parade.
    • Approximately 40% of Air Academy band students have military parents (all five branches represented).
    •  Our saxophone soloist for the field show, Alec Chai, is actually an all-state oboist, and will play trumpet in the parade.
    • Our Drum Majors, Paige Langum and Rita Nelson, are both members of military families. Between the two of them, they have attended 16 schools in 12 states and Japan since kindergarten.


  • Inspired by the USAFA’s  mission to build “leaders of character,” Air Academy Marching Band is dedicated to helping all of its members develop lifelong skills including self discipline, personal responsibility, integrity, physical fitness, sportsmanship and teamwork.


  • Students are welcomed into the program regardless of previous musical experience: there is no audition to join.


  • AAHS Marching Band rehearses for over 250 hours in a single, typical marching season


  • 2017-18 is AAHS Band’s 60th anniversary year


  • Air Academy’s marching band has been a CBA (Colorado Bandmasters Association) State Finalist every year since 1989.


  • The Air Academy High School Band has garnered eight Colorado state championships in the past decade, and captured its 12th state title in October, 2017.


  • The band, along with its components, has brought home the gold in 43 other competitions in the last decade, including four division championships at Bands of America Super Regionals in San Antonio and St. Louis.


  • Air Academy’s award-winning field shows are aerobically intensive, and physical fitness is an expectation. The program includes a physical education component – and a PE coach — at its practices. Students run, dance, hike, stretch and train for nearly an hour every day during marching season, before picking up their instruments or flags.


Facts about Air Academy High School

  • Air Academy High School (AAHS) was established in its current location in 1957, during the same time period the Air Force Academy was entering the final phase of its initial construction.


  • AAHS is the oldest high school in Colorado Springs Academy School District 20, and the second oldest high school in Colorado Springs.


  • The current AAHS school enrollment (2017-18) is approximately 1,335 students, boasting a 93% graduation rate.


  • The school is located at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, at an altitude of 6535 feet (1.2 miles above sea level)


  • The school colors reflect the tradition of the USAFA’s colors: Blue and Silver


Facts about Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Founded as a resort community in 1871
  • Enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine every year
  • Is home to the U.S. Olympic Training Center
  • Each year nearly 6 million people visit the area—with “America’s Mountain”, Pikes Peak, the most visited mountain in the United States— a favored destination.


Facts about the United States Air Force Academy

  • Construction began in 1955, Accreditation in 1959, 1st graduating class: 1959
  • Located at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Range
  • Runway altitude is 6572 ft (AirNav Aug, 2017)
  • “We educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.”-USAFA Mission statement

  • Current enrollment (2017-18): just over 4,000 students

Notable Air academy High School Alumni (*-band alumNI):

  • Nate Zuercher*, professional musician, “Judah and the Lion” School
  • T. A. Barron, fantasy writer
  • Gregg Brandon, football coach
  • Donald Cerrone, professional mixed martial artist
  • Pat Forde, professional sports journalist
  • Linden King, professional football player
  • Wil McCarthy, inventor, scientist, science fiction writer
  • Allie McLaughlin, mountain running long distance world champion
  • John Novembre, MacArthur Genius Award winner, Professor of Computational Genetics, University of Chicago
  • Pat Rice, former MLB player
  • Matt Slauson, NFL football player
  • Katie Rainsberger, Champion Cross Country Runner;


To see the most recent stories about Air Academy band in the news, CLICK HERE

Find out about current events

See the band calendar

Find out more about our directors

See AAHS Band’s most recent Marching Awards & Honors