Military Bands

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tarter_trpt8, May 8, 2005.

  1. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    I figured as much, that's good at least. When I went through basic I got a huge amount of abuse for being an O2B - Trumpet player... I can't imagine having to say "special bandsmen" to a DS... anyway, anyone wanting to play and get paid really an outstanding wage for the required level of musicianship, the military band system is the way to go. It's steady, and overseas (I'm in Germany) the gigs can be really great, and you get to travel all over Europe for free. Another great gig for those into Jazz is the Korea bands, where Jazz is still a very popular form of live music and you can literally get a gig ANYWHERE.
    To you guys from the "special bands" is it really viable to tour as much as they do with a family? I'm married and I've recently spent the last 23 months away from my wife with Iraq and other stuff going on, and I just don't wanna be gone all the time anymore, is that an issue with the special band system?
    Bottom line is that the regular band system in the military is really what you make of it.. If you get stationed stateside you could be bored to tears for lack of gigs or musical satisfaction. It's really what you do to make it worthwhile. Overseas can be similar at times. I've gotten a ton of great information and used the Army to get me really great lessons and basically gotten paid to practice for the last 7 years.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    While I wasn't in the Field Band, having been stationed in the FUSA Band on Fort Meade (same Army base as the Field Band) and having lived in the are for 15 years, I have gotten to know a handful of former and current Field Band musicians. On the subject of marriage, it appears that the Field Band is VERY hard on marriages.

    There is certainly more than one person there that has gotten divorced while stationed with the Field Band, and oddly enough some of them remarry someone else in the band....hmmmmm. Ok. Which came first, the end of the old relationship or the beginning of the new?

    I had given some thought to working my vocal chops and trying to land a spot in the Soldier's Chorus, but when my wife found out how much that band tours, she wouldn't hear of it.
  3. joey

    joey Pianissimo User

    Nov 19, 2003
    touring and marriage

    The Field Band does tour more than any of the special bands. It did take its toll on a lot of marriages.

    Luckily for me, I joined as a single 21 year old.

    Patrick is correct; there are a lot of marriages within the unit. When I was in, one of the tenor sax players in the Jazz Band was married to a flute player in the Concert Band. One of the trombone players in the Jazz Band was married to a singer in the Chorus. That way, you're both gone at the same time. Everyone involved was married previously.

    I am married now (almost 9 years), with a 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. I can't imagine maintaining that kind of touring schedule now.

    Joey Tartell
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Wow! Congrats on the marriage and having a daughter, even if it is WAY late.

    The last time I actually saw you, (Blues Alley with Maynard) I don't think I had kids yet either, but I was married.

    I now have a 10 year old son (He'll be 11 in August) and my daughter just turned 8.

    Time flies.
  5. murph66

    murph66 New Friend

    May 16, 2005
    I'll second Keith E Miland's comments about National Guard Bands. Some are excellent and others are so-so. I had the 41st in Jackson, Ms for several years and I also didn't pencil in PT or MOS test scores. The main problem with some bands, including the 41st, is that many bandsmen stay in for the full 20 year ride. Although I've been out since 1989, one of the current members recently told me one of the complaints at the last Tech Inspection was the average age of the members, which was way over the active band range. Also, this does not make for rapid promotion as there has to be an opening in your unit for a person to advance to NCO level. For example, since 1975, this band has only had four 1st sergeants and E-7 promotions are slow also. It was a great help to a lot of young people going through college in Tuition help through the state. But, the NY Guard has had several members activated from their Separate Band to fill slots in the Rainbow Divsion Band, which was activated along with the Divsion, which is also part of the NY Guard.

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