Band of the Golden West visits southern New Mexico

Band of the Golden West visits southern New Mexico

Tech. Sgt. Clinton Whitney, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, performs with the Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., on May 10, 2018. The Mobility ensemble plays upwards of 60 concerts each year to over 600,000 people across the western United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West

Capt. Rafael Toro Quinones, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West commander, conducts the Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., on May 10, 2018. The Mobility ensemble plays upwards of 60 concerts each year to over 600,000 people across the western United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West

Tech. Sgt. Clinton Whitney, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, sings to the community at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., on May 10, 2018. Over 100 community members, guests, families, active duty military members and veterans came out to support the concert. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West

Senior Airman Bryan Smith, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West drummer, performs with the Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., on May 10, 2018. The Mobility ensemble plays upwards of 60 concerts each year to over 600,000 people across the western United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West

Senior Airman Salina Boodoosingh, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, and Airman 1st Class Michael Tuck, a Band of the Golden West guitarist perform with Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., May 10, 2018. The Mobility ensemble plays upwards of 60 concerts each year to over 600,000 people across the western United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West

Senior Airman Salina Boodoosingh, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, and Airman 1st Class Kayla Highsmith, a Band of the Golden West vocalist perform with Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., May 10, 2018. Over 100 community members, guests, families, active duty military members and veterans came out to support the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

Band of the Golden West visits southern New Mexico

Senior Airman Salina Boodoosingh, a U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, performs with the Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at Plaza de Las Cruces, N.M., on May 10, 2018. Over 100 community members, guests, families, active duty military members and veterans came out to support the concert (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Donald Hatheway)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West’s ensemble Mobility, from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., performed at Plaza de Las Cruces on May 10.

The group plays upwards of 60 concerts each year to over 600,000 people across the western United States--one of them being right here in southern New Mexico.

Approximately 70 miles from Holloman, Mobility joined the Onate High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra to put on a free two-hour concert.

“We got to spend a lot of time working with a lot of talented musicians,” said Master Sgt. Andrew Benton, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West non-commissioned officer in-charge. “We not only got to perform for a student body but put on a show with them too.”

Both the ensemble and high school spent months preparing for the concert in the plaza.

“The students are so talented and have such great attitudes; you can see they have big dreams,” said Senior Airman Salina Boodoosingh, a Band of the Golden West vocalist. “It was awesome working with the kids.”

Over 100 community members, guests, families, active duty military members and veterans came out to support the concert, but for some, this may have been their first interaction with the military.

“We meet a lot of people who don’t know anything about the military,” said Benton. “This gives us an opportunity to tell people about the Air Force’s mission.”

For others, this concert re-energized fond memories of the military.

“In every community we visit, veterans young or old will come up, shake our hands and say, ‘thank you for recognizing me- it was really meaningful to me,’” said Benton. “It is awesome that we get to honor them too.”

For the musical artists, the open venue was a way to bring people from all walks of life together.

“Music reaches everybody, and it opens doors,” said Larry Hill, a retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. “We are in the public square, and it was a great way to see Air Force professionalism on display.”