eNewsletter, July 2018: Educational Outreach with International Organizations
The International Trombone Festival and the International Horn Symposium
The U.S. Army Field Band understands the need for a strong relationship with the next generation of musicians. It’s crucial for the band’s relevance and longevity, and thanks to a robust educational outreach program, that relationship is stronger than ever. The band’s many chamber ensembles and clinic teams, its growing library of instructional videos and audio recordings, and its support of such music festivals as Music For All and Eastern U.S. Music Camp make the Army Field Band the biggest supporter of music education in the United States military.
An important part of that outreach is a strong presence within academic organizations, groups that exist to advance the performance and pedagogy of an instrument. This summer, the Army Field Band performs at both the International Trombone Festival and the International Horn Symposium.
“The annual International Trombone Festival (ITF) attracts professionals, amateurs, and students from all over the world,” said Master Sergeant Wesley Ballenger, bass trombonist with the Army Field Band. “The Army Field Band has been featured at multiple ITFs, most recently in 2014 at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. This year, festival organizers requested the Army Field Band for two of the featured evening performances.”
Members of the Army Field Band’s trombone section were more visible than ever at this year’s ITF. In addition to the Concert Band’s feature performance with world-renowned trombonists Peter Moore, Jose Milton Viera, and Denson Paul Pollard on July 12, the section collaborated with members of the “President’s Own” Marine Band trombone section to create a joint service trombone ensemble. The ensemble performed the music of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Michael Giacchino, and more, arranged primarily by Master Sergeant Ballenger, for an exceptionally enthusiastic audience. “I’m blown away by just how well the group came together,” said MSG Ballenger. “It shouldn’t be possible to play Candide Overture at tempo on trombone. It’s an awesome group, and I hope the trombone community enjoys what we’re doing as much as we enjoy doing it.”
Sergeant First Class Todd Sturniolo, tenor trombonist with the Army Field Band, served the festival as an expert on early twentieth-century trombone legend Arthur Pryor. SFC Sturniolo judged the Larry Wiehe Competition (which focuses on Pryor’s music), performed Pryor’s “Annie Laurie” at the aforementioned trombone ensemble performance, and offered a solo masterclass about Pryor and his music. “Pryor’s music has its roots deep in the tradition of military band music. Being able to tell the story of his music, relate its significance to our mission as military musicians, and perform it in recital was the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between civilian musicians and those who serve in uniform.” said SFC Sturniolo. “It is our duty to carry on these traditions and inspire others to do the same.”
Building on the success of the International Trombone Festival, in August the band performs at the International Horn Symposium, a similar event sponsored by the International Horn Society. This year’s symposium is hosted by Ball State University at Muncie, Indiana. The band’s performance marks a new initiative called “HornVets,” in which military bands, their members, and the military band field are actively promoted. HornVets was spearheaded by the Army Field Band’s own Staff Sergeant J.G. Miller for the International Horn Society.
“It’s an honor for the Army Field Band to be the featured ensemble in the closing concert of the International Horn Society’s 50th Symposium,” said SSG Miller. “As a result of the HornVets initiative, and thanks to the leadership of the International Horn Society, the horn community at large is gaining awareness of the incredible talents of military horn players past and present.”
The U.S. Army Field Band
4214 Field Band Drive STE 5330
Fort George G. Meade MD 20755-7055
301-677-6586 | email@example.com