One of my fondest memories of my time as a lieutenant (I don’t sound like an old Soldier there, do I? Yikes.) was serving as the Executive Officer of The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band (although back then, it was called The U.S. Continental Army Band). There were a lot of great things about that assignment, but what truly set that band apart, in my humble opinion, was its summer concert series, “Music Under the Stars” or MUTS. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Army Bands
From time to time, social media or an occasional article on military bands gives people an opportunity to voice their support or displeasure with the money spent on military music assets. This is often followed by a wave of comments both for and against. I’m biased, but I also speak from first-hand knowledge and experience. Seventeen years worth of experience. Does the Department of Defense wisely spend every dime of the American taxpayer’s money? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say…no. Continue reading
I’ve written here and there about my job and the satisfaction I get serving as an Army Music Officer, but so many people – both civilians and military – ask me how I became an Army Music Officer. Having been in the Army for over 17 years now (gulp) and having served as the Army Music Officer auditions coordinator for three years, I think I have as good a perspective as any on the process.
After a vacation for the ages with my wife and her family, we said goodbye to Virginia Beach and the Army School of Music, which had been our home for five years. We’ll always carry a lot of wonderful memories to go with the occasional headaches, but we were more than ready to move on to our next adventure – Korea. Thankfully, our flight to Korea took us through Seattle, giving us the opportunity to visit with two of our closest friends and their family before the long flight through Japan to Osan Airforce Base. When we finally did arrive at United States Army Garrison Yongsan, which is located in the Republic of Korea’s capital city of Seoul, we were excited to hit the ground running, taking very little time before wondering off base. Continue reading
It’s been a long, long time since I last published a post on this blog. I could say I had a good reason, but the truth is I let my busy work schedule be an excuse to do other things…like watch “Blacklist” and “Agents of Shield.” The truth is that I think deep down I felt like I had said all I wanted to say about my time at the Army School of Music – I was there for five years after all – and was hoping that a return to the “operational” domain (i.e., serving at a band) would inspire me to write again…almost true. I did feel inspired to write again, but I also felt a little overwhelmed with moving to a foreign country and the new job, so I again made excuses. No more. For the five of you who have been hoping I would return to this space, the wait is over. Continue reading
Well, I’ve been back in the States for a little over a month and had time to recharge and reflect on my time serving as USARCENT Bands LNO. Besides the invaluable experience I gained working on the USARCENT staff, I came away with a few important lessons: Continue reading
So, I’m a little late writing this post…A couple of weeks ago, the Army Ground Forces Band (FORSCOM Band) sent their cover band to the area to perform for troops around the Fourth. This was the trip I started planning a couple of weeks after I arrived, and it was great to finally see it happen.
I knew the Loose Cannons was going to be good, but you never know until they start playing and you hear that first vocal. As expected, they were fantastic, performing an updated set list. The first full day in country, the band worked with the contracted sound and lighting guys in the venue they were going to play in on the Fourth – a large, air-conditioned “tent” that sounded like a gymnasium. The position of the stage was probably the worst place it could be acoustically, and during the initial sound check, the sound guys had a terrible time getting the band to sound like…the band; despite the fact that the event planners wanted the band surrounded by games and activities like a carnival, we decided that we needed to move the stage. Though the picture wouldn’t be as nice, the music would be a lot better…and it was. Continue reading