The Air Force Band on Tuesday delivered a surprise for hundreds of spectators at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center: An outstanding flash mob performance of “Greensleeves/What Child is This” and “Carol of the Bells.”
As you can see in the video below, the performance began with a single oboist playing “Greensleeves” beneath the Space Shuttle Discovery, in the James S. McDonnell Space Hanger. She was soon joined by a cellist, another oboist, a harpist, and before long, the performance swelled to dozens of musicians throughout the hanger. The performance moved over to the main section of the hanger next to the SR-71 Blackbird, as drummers beat out an introduction to “Carol of the Bells.”
(The Air Force Band’s site credits the first song as “Greensleeves,” but the choir sang lyrics to “What Child is This,” which has the same melody.)
Dozens of band members, as well as the Air Force Honor Guard, worked behind the scenes to pull it off, the band said in a release.
This seems to be becoming an annual tradition for the Air Force Band. Last year, the band staged its first Holiday Flash Mob at the museum. Video of that performance went viral, racking up nearly 3 million views on YouTube, and its success prompted the band to do it again this year.
“Airmen musicians performing holiday classics at an iconic museum in the nation’s capital was a winning combination,” Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Pagnard, the band’s chief of marketing and outreach, said of last year’s video. “Like many popular videos, it also had the element of surprise, and this year’s video is no different. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as last year’s offering.”
More than 100 musicians from the Air Force’s six bands performed original arrangements by retired Senior Master Sgt. Bob Thurston. The arrangements were commissioned specifically for this performance. Col. Larry Lang, the band’s commander and conductor, led the flash mob.