Atlanta Freedom Bands has a 30-year history of representing our city's LGBTQ+ community through music and performance. AFB has performed in concerts, festivals, parades, and events across Atlanta and the Southeast. In addition to our outstanding performances, AFB offers a welcoming home where performers of all orientations and identities can come together to develop and express their talents.
AFB offers a wide range of performance opportunities through its collection of ensembles. Our Marching Band formed in 1993 and has appeared in the Atlanta Pride Parade and numerous city events ever since. The MetroGnomes Stage Band formed in 2001 to explore the sounds of swing, jazz, big band, and pop tunes. The Color Guard formed in 2010 to add an exciting visual presence to our marching performances. And our Concert Band formed in 2004, growing to an 70-piece ensemble that performs the latest and best of wind band literature.
AFB has commissioned several new musical works over the years. In addition, AFB has a Student Composer Residency Program in which we invite a collegiate student composer to join us for each concert cycle, presenting their latest work to our off-campus audience, a program we have maintained even when our concerts were virtual. We are celebrating our 30th performance year by commissioning a new work for wind band from Dr. Erika Svanoe, who will join us in June to conduct the premiere!
AFB is a member of Pride Bands Alliance, an organization of 36 LGBTQ+ bands from the US, Canada, and Australia. Our members have performed with Pride Bands at events including Gay Games events in Sydney, Amsterdam and Paris and the inaugurations of Presidents Clinton and Obama. In October 2013, AFB hosted the annual conference with 250 participants from 32 different bands. Most recently, AFB musicians performed at the World Pride/Stonewall 50 march in New York.
AFB has year-round programs with concerts, parades, and community events involving over 120 volunteer musicians led by professional directors. Your support helps us cover all the expenses involved in our productions, things like buying new music, renting concert venues, storing and transporting instruments, and printing programs.
For the year 2022, your donation is especially important in sustaining AFB. AFB has returned to its full schedule of concerts and community performances with all our performing ensembles. Your donation will help make sure we have the funds to keep presenting the programs you have enjoyed all these years.
Even more importantly than covering our operations, your donations provide a welcoming space where people from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill levels can come together to develop and express their talents. Many of our AFB musicians have returned to their instruments after decades. Others have experienced situations where their talents were unwelcome because of who they are. And others join AFB because they believe in the mission and enjoy the types of music that AFB's ensembles provide. Your donation keeps the music going for this amazing group of people who each give hundreds of hours of their time in and out of rehearsal through the year.