Posted by Mike Forbes on April 01, 2001 at 18:18:15:
In Reply to: Flexibility within the MIlitary Groups posted by Dustin Moburg on March 28, 2001 at 12:24:38:
The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" in D.C. is one unit that has various divisions: Concert Band, Ceremonial Band, Orchestra, Chorus, and "Blues" Jazz Ensemble. Each musician is pretty much locked into their individual group. BUT! If there are more ceremonies than musicians in the ceremonial band, members of these other groups will be called upon to fill those positions for the mission at hand--likewise, if many tubists from the concert band are on leave, and there's a concert, a ceremonial tubist may be plucked in temporarily. As I understand it, the Air Force band in D.C. is like this also, but even more rigidly divided...rarely (if ever) does a ceremonial player play in concert band and vice versa.
The Army band has many, many small chamber ensembles that are purely put together by the members of those groups. They can then tour, or concertize as they wish (with expenses provided by a sponsor). So even though I'm simply a Sousaphonist in the ceremonial band, I'm also a member of the Army Tuba/Euph. Quartet and conductor of the Brass Tentet...both are like "extracurricular" activities and are treated as such by the "management." There is much freedom for these kind of through-together groups. Perhaps the best part about any of these military performing units is the musicians that make up the ensembles...simply the greatest people who all eagerly long for musical stuff to be involved with!