The Newtown Pentacle

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max impact

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving through the squamous and tourist choked streets of accursed Lower Manhattan, and heading for a rendezvous with a boat trip at South Street Seaport, a rhythmical thumping began to filter through my headphones.

The closer I got to Pier 16, the louder it became, and that’s when I encountered Max Impact.


Max Impact is the premier rock band of the United States Air Force. Commissioned in 2005, the band’s seven members perform exciting original music, rock, country, patriotic favorites as well as classic and current pop hits. In addition to entertaining military and civilian audiences in the United States, Max Impact has thrilled troops with their hard-rocking energy and amazing musical versatility at forward deployed locations including Iraq and Afghanistan.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A military band, Max Impact was playing a medley of rock anthems to an interested crowd of European and Chinese tourists which didn’t quite know what to make of a group of American military personnel performing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Your humble narrator too, found this a bit odd, but no less so than any of the other bizarre allocations that my tax dollars go to.

also from

Technical Sgt. Matthew R. Geist is a guitarist with Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to his performing duties, he serves as music director for his flight. Originally from Chicago, his career in the Air Force began in 1995 when he served in the Band of the West, Lackland AFB, Texas. From 2004-06 he served with the Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB, Mass.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They were actually pretty good- technically precise- in the manner of studio musicians. They didn’t miss a beat, and were perfectly in tune with each other. Of course, this is what soldiers do. Max Impact is officially part of the United States Air Force Military Band.

It seems there are several “units” within the band, specialized into music genre or style operations- classical, jazz, country etc.

also from

Master Sgt. Shani Prewitt is a vocalist with the Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to her performance duties, Sergeant Prewitt is the assistant noncommissioned officer in charge of the Singing Sergeants. Originally from Staunton, Va., her career in the Air Force began in 1990.

Before joining the Air Force, Sergeant Prewitt was a vocalist at Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Opryland and Disneyland.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A little online research afterward revealed that this unit performs for troops deployed oversea and here at home, and seems to be particularly popular with front line soldiers. In the case of the Air Force, front line means their Special Operations tactical units (analogous to other Special Forces like the Green Berets or Seals in the Army or Navy).


Master Sgt. Ryan L. Carson is a vocalist with Max Impact, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. In addition to his performance duties, Sergeant Carson is the Air Force District of Washington/11th Wing protocol liaison for the Band’s Outreach office. He is originally from Rapid City, S.D.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Wyoming, Sergeant Carson earned a Bachelor of Music degree, specializing in voice performance. While there, he garnered a first place award at the Colorado/Wyoming National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and was also named Outstanding Male Vocal Jazz Soloist at the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. Sergeant Carson was also a Distinguished Graduate and Commandant Award Finalist at the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy in 2003.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

They went from playing pop music over to their own compositions, which were a bit edgier.

You already paid for them, so might as well download a sampling of Max Impact’s recordings, which can be accessed at this page

additionally, here’s a Max Impact video produced for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC.)

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

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