Take note of Noteables

Chris Hammiel

As a professional musician, Staff Sergeant Chris Hammiel has a plum of a job with the United States Air Force.
Hammiel plays the trumpet for The Noteables, a jazz ensemble for the Air Force’s Heartland of America Band.
The 13-member jazz band will give a free performance at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. It’s their way of bringing the Air Force to “a community that typically doesn’t see an Air Force face,” Hammiel said.
The 75-minute performance will include “a full roller coaster ride of music,” Hammiel said, including vocals.
Earlier in the day the jazz ensemble will give workshops with Iola High School students involved in jazz band.
Hammiel, 37, has played trumpet since he was in fifth grade in Dayton, Ohio. He continued to study music at Wright State University in Dayton.
He interrupted his studies to tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1996 to 1998. Though an incredible experience, it was exhausting, he said.
“We ‘gigged’ five to six times a week,” he said, putting him on the road about 350 days a year. Four other members of The Noteables also are former players with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Hammiel returned to academics and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000.
From there he enlisted in the Air Force to play with its band. This past summer he re-enlisted, for a total of 12 years of service at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Neb.
Hammiel is married to an elementary music teacher who teaches in Omaha public schools.
The Noteables perform across the Midwest, doing six to eight one-week tours a year. Kansas is a favorite destination, Hammiel said, especially with its strong jazz roots in Kansas City.
One tour took the band to South Dakota.
“Playing with Mount Rushmore as a backdrop on July 4 is hard to beat,” Hammiel said of the memorable trip.