Airport offers music for Masters travelers

Friday, April 12, 2013 1:39 PM
Last updated Saturday, April 13, 2013 1:14 AM
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Tom Gallagher stepped out of Augusta Regional Airport’s Gate 5 Wednesday, his rolling suitcase behind him, and stopped and stared.

There among the bustle of travelers were four members of the Thomson High School Jazz Band, belting out tunes on a baritone saxophone, trombones and percussion.

“I thought it was like being on the Titanic,” said Gallagher, who flew from Chicago to attend the Masters Tournament. “It was nice to see.”

For the first time, Augusta Regional has brought in musicians to perform for travelers during Masters Week, the airport’s busiest seven days of the year. A local musical act will perform in the Spring Music Fest each day through Monday.

“We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get local artists the most exposure we could,” said Augusta Regional communications manager Lauren Smith. “This week is very busy. The terminal is full. Almost shoulder to shoulder with people.”

During Masters Week, Smith said, about 20,000 passengers filter though the airport – the same number seen during a typical month.

Augusta Regional began planning the Spring Music Fest earlier this year as an expansion to the mini concert series held around Christmastime.

Thomson High School band director Jessie Morlan said the gig is an opportunity to give exposure to his four young musicians, who were chosen to play at the airport from the school’s 25-member jazz band based on their skill and academics.

His band agreed.

“We’re just in high school, so we’ve really just done band concerts and football games,” said Thomson junior Mitchell Powers, who plays trombone. “This is really exciting.”

The airport’s marketing budget will also pay out $100 an hour for the three-hour slots, which Powers said is another bonus.

When he arrived at the airport Wednesday, Michael Via of Sarasota, Fla., had about a three-hour wait for his 1:40 p.m. flight back home. It was his first trip to Augusta for the Masters Tournament, and he spent Tuesday watching golfers at the practice rounds and taking in the azaleas.

His ears perked when he heard the band start playing.

“It’s pretty neat,” he said. “I had a long wait, but hopefully now it will go quicker.”


Tuesday: Eryn Eubanks and The Family Fold

Wednesday: Thomson High School Jazz Combo

Thursday: Sunwell

Today: Robin Dixon

Saturday: Cloud Formations

Sunday: Ramblin’ Fevers

Monday: Mike Frost Jazz

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Riverman1 04/13/13 - 08:12 am
It's a good way for the

It's a good way for the school bands to make a little money. We do dress up for the Master's.

John Locke
John Locke 04/13/13 - 10:21 am
Titanic is right - Augusta is sinking fast

What a great comment - “I thought it was like being on the Titanic,” said Gallagher, who flew from Chicago to attend the Masters Tournament. “It was nice to see.” - too bad he doesn't see the other 51 weeks of how you get treated at the airport. And now with the entire downtown in shambles, no National Science Center, no golf and gardens, limited hours for museums and stores, yea - its the Titanic all right. Maybe have the bands play for the locals at times other than the masters, or is there not enough hip-hop rappers and country bands to fill the Airport.

JRC2024 04/14/13 - 09:16 am
I just went on a cruise and

I just went on a cruise and left and returned to the Augusta Airport. It was a great experience and why drive to Columbia or Atlanta when we have such a great place. Everything was clean, people were helpful and service was quick. Do not talk bad about what you have not experienced. And by the way the airport is very pretty and the parking lots are nice and they have an extended golf cart to pick you up.

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