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bands

U.S. Navy

Two San Antonio natives returned to Texas last spring as the U.S. Navy Band made an appearance at Jackson Auditorium on the Texas Lutheran University campus. Texas Public Radio was there on March 1 with our microphones to capture the concert, which included patriotic melodies, classic American composers such as Leonard Bernstein, and virtuosic repertoire from Dmitri Shostakovich and Antonio Bazzini.

U.S. Army

Earlier this summer, the Army announced it was deactivating the “Fort Sam’s Own,” the 323d Army Band, that has been stationed at Fort Sam Houston since 1995. The band’s purpose, historically, has been to tell the Army’s story by building bridges with the public through music. In 2019, that mission will come to an end—for now, says Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Ward, leader of the 323d.

The military has more than 130 bands with more than 6000 musicians. But their cost – about a half-billion dollars a year – has made them a target for budget cutters in Congress and at the Pentagon.