Family Tradition is Music to Airman’s Ears


As a child, Steven Martin (top left) sang with his father’s quartet. Now a staff sergeant working in the Air Mobility Command, Martin sings with a local area quartet called “Sounds of Harmony”. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

By Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

When you think about it, most people have some type of family tradition that they continue to honor, maybe without even knowing it. It could be something that you pass down such as an heirloom, or something you actually do like following in your parents professional ‘footsteps’.

For Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Martin, his tradition involves singing in a local barber shop quartet, something his father taught him when he was 10 years old.

Now, 24 years later after he started singing acapella, he continues to uphold the family tradition started by his grandfather and passed down.

“It’s a family thing,” he said. “I wouldn’t be singing if it wasn’t for my father.”

Ten years after he started singing Martin joined the Air Force, and in 2002, while stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., he joined a group called the “Sounds of Harmony.”

The 30 plus member group ranges in age and sings songs from the 30′s to the 60′s.

“My dad used to be stationed here, and he sang with a guy in the chorus, so he called the guy and said ‘Hey, my son’s going to be stationed there. Could you show him all the choruses around?’” he said

Not only does Martin sing with the group, but he has also sang competitively and been successful, winning a gold medal in 2004 singing with the “Ambassadors of Harmony” from St. Charles, Mo.

Now though, he sings purely out of his passion for it.

“It’s all about dedication and a love for singing,” he said. “If you come into this loving to sing, then you really don’t need anything else.”

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