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David Beasley '04 Tours Asia, Africa with USAF Band
Oklahoma City University alumnus David Beasley ’04 is on a 60-day tour of Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa as a bass guitarist with Falcon, an official U.S. Air Force Band comprised of military musicians. The band's mission is to bring familiar music to the troops and a piece of American culture to people who have never experienced it, including residents of small towns and local orphanages. Falcon performs songs by groups ranging from Don McLean to Linkin Park to Aretha Franklin to Johnny Cash. "I became a bandsman in the Air Force because I wanted a job where I could use my degree in music," Beasley said. "The Air Force offered that and a chance to serve my country as well." When not deployed, Beasley is staff arranger and bassist for the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band located at Offutt Air Force Base, in Omaha, Neb. In the three years since his appointment, he has been named Heartland of America Band Airman of the Year, USAF SAF/PA Band Airman of the Year, and 2007 Air Force Association Storz Award Finalist, Junior Tier. Beasley also was awarded the Air Force Recognition Ribbon. He was promoted to senior airman in June 2007. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of music with an emphasis in business administration, and studied music composition. While a student at the Bass School, two of Beasley's orchestral arrangements were featured on the 2004 tour of China by the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, in which Beasley played tuba. The Las Cruces, N.M., native was also a member of the 2001 Disney All-Star Collegiate Band on tuba and bass. Capt. Michael Willen, who manages the band on tour, said Falcon is different from other military bands because of the level of its members’ security clearance. "One of the things we can do is, because we have all the special training, we can get to those isolated places," Willen said. "It puts us in a unique position to do a lot of good." "I know it's a cliché, but that's why I perform," Beasley told his hometown newspaper. "To see people jammin' along with you and smiling — it's great, especially here!"