Army bands have been an integral part of our Nation’s history since before the American Revolution. As early as 1747, Colonel Ben Franklin spoke of his regiment’s “Hautboys and Fifes.” The resolution forming the Continental Army in 1775 under the command of General Washington begins with: “Resolved that six companies of expert riflemen be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia; that each Company consist of a captain, three lieutenants, four sergeants, four corporals, a drummer or trumpeter, and sixty-eight privates.”
Bands not only assisted in drill, but entertained the troops while in camp. In fact, Washington himself was, by all accounts, an accomplished flutist.
Today, Army bands provide a number of very important services to the Army and the Nation:
– We entertain troops serving in harm’s way.
– We serve as ambassadors overseas when we perform for foreign audiences.
– We serve as diplomats when we perform for visiting dignitaries to the U.S.
– We remind Americans what makes us a great country.
– We honor our fallen.
– And, as in the case of the weeks that followed September 11, 2001, we can help people grieve, heal, and ultimately draw strength to carry on.
The link above refers to the band I was stationed with at the time of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Next time, I’ll write about my experience.
I can’t think of a better way of using my musical talents – making great music, entertaining people across the country, and serving as an ambassador on behalf of the American Soldier and the American People.