In 1946, Chief Warrant Officer Chester Whiting was directed to “organize a band that will carry into the grassroots of our country the story of our magnificent Army, its glorious traditions and achievements.” Every year since, The United States Army Field Band has proudly carried out that mission. Today, each of its four performing components tours approximately 100 days annually.
In 2013, due to Congressional budget cuts under sequestration and Department of Defense policy, military bands were not permitted to tour. No unit was more greatly affected by this than the Army Field Band, the military’s most traveled musicians. However, in the challenging economic climate, the band found new ways to meet the American people.
“It was with great pride that I watched our Soldiers shift focus over this past year,” said Colonel Timothy J. Holtan, Commander of The U.S. Army Field Band. “To cancel a tour within weeks of departing was heartbreaking… not only for the musicians, but also for our Operations teams who work so hard to coordinate high-quality tours. The sponsors mostly understood our dilemma and we hope to return and fulfill their expectations as soon as we can. The good news is that we performed for many new local audiences, our educational outreach teams have had substantially more opportunities to hone their skills, and our social media teams have exponentially extended our brand and product across the country and, increasingly, the world. We will hit the road with increased capability, and we are very excited to reconnect with our great American audiences.”
In the absence of national tours, the Army Field Band took the opportunity to reach audiences closer to home, performing concerts, recitals, and instructional clinics across the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania regions. To reach the rest of the country, the band made groundbreaking use of Google+ Hangouts
(a group video chat service), completely changing how the Army Field Band carried out its mission in 2013. To learn more about Google+ Hangouts and the Army Field Band, see page 6.
The band also unveiled Pro Tips, a new educational series of YouTube videos. In Pro Tips, individual members of the
Army Field Band offer advice on performance, practice techniques, instrument maintenance, and much more.
Following decades of success with the Army Field Band’s Educational Video Series, Pro Tips offers concise and specific tools for the music student or educator.
The U.S. Army Field Band thanks its friends, fans, sponsors, and the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs for their continued support through 2013 and into the future. The Musical Ambassadors of the Army are back on the road in 2014, stronger than ever, and will continue to bring the Army story into the grassroots of America for generations to come!