Charmaine Crutchfield, USA TODAY
The United States Air Force Band launched a musical "flash mob" Tuesday, surprising visitors at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., with a holiday-themed concert.
Disguised as a special holiday kickoff event, the U.S. Air Force Band began playing an arrangement of "Greensleeves" with a single musician, Technical Sgt. Emily Snyder, who played the English horn.
After several moments of performing solo, Snyder was joined by more than 100 instrumentalists who popped up throughout the crowd, transitioning the song into "What Child Is This," giving a "surround sound" style performance that charmed guests throughout the museum.
"One of the most important aspects of the band's mission is to have a positive impact on the global community through innovation and a flash mob is one of the best ways to accomplish that," said Senior Master Sgt. Philip Krzywicki, who plays the French horn. "Many people don't get the opportunity to interact with a member from the Air Force, but if they see us here in person and watch this online we then create some kind of personal connection."
Since 1941, the U.S. Air Force Band has been using music to bridge the language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences — helping to create bonds between the U.S. and the global community.
The band also created video of the event to extend that connection.
"We're really excited to reach out to the Internet community," said Master Sgt. William Hurd, a viola player. "It's great to know that we're able to reach people with an event like this."
One of the Udvar-Hazy center's most popular exhibits is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, which served as a backdrop during the "stealth" performance.