A history of the United States Air Force Band and its relationship to music education: the foundational years, 1941-1945
Schofield, Donald Edward
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The purpose of this study is to provide a chronological history of the United States Air Force (USAF) Band from 1941 to 1945 and to international, national, regional and local missions of the Army Air Forces (AAF) Band; the organization of the performing groups and unit personnel; music education within the AAF Band; and performance impact on both Department of Defense and Air Force priorities. Through historical documentation from the archives at Joint-Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC, the historical archives of the USAF Band, the 11th Wing at Joint-Base Andrews, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, a historical timeline was created that details the birth of the AAF Band at Bolling Field, the impacts of peer teaching for the men in the band, and the national and international success of the band as they supported war bond rallies, public concerts, and troop morale events in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and France. I found that the AAF Band was a potent vehicle for developing public support of the war effort, War Department fundraising, American and Allied troop morale, and international diplomacy. The Army was invested in music education for soldiers, primarily because music provided a positive creative and social outlet for troops during the monotony of war by teaching them to sing in choruses, playing small instruments, and forming amateur ensembles. Through peer teaching, Captain George S. Howard and the AAF Band maximized the diversity of classical and jazz musicians that were assembled at Bolling Air Force Base due to the mandatory draft during World War II. The AAF Band capitalized on the importance of music in the Army by providing concerts of classical and jazz music to troops stationed around the world. The AAF senior leadership believed in the power of music to communicate patriotism and professionalism, and continued to invest in the AAF band program after the conclusion of World War II through the establishment of the AAF Bandsmen Training Program.