Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

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jserraglio
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Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:23 am

Though the current $437 million price tag would barely qualify as a drop in the defense budget bucket of about $600 billion, it still dwarfs all other federal spending on music.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/us/mi ... udget.html

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John F
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by John F » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:31 am

Dave Philipps wrote:There are also military rock acts with artsy names, conservatory-trained military jazz ensembles, military bluegrass pickers, even a military calypso band based in the Virgin Islands.
Huh??? That's just plain ridiculous. A military calypso band? It is to laff. By all means, let's cut all this flab and limit the military's bands to, well, military bands.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:00 am

John F wrote:
Dave Philipps wrote:There are also military rock acts with artsy names, conservatory-trained military jazz ensembles, military bluegrass pickers, even a military calypso band based in the Virgin Islands.
Huh??? That's just plain ridiculous. A military calypso band? It is to laff. By all means, let's cut all this flab and limit the military's bands to, well, military bands.
Please let's not emasculate the Pentagon! Maybe drones don't need drones. But cruise missiles without calypso just won't fly.

maestrob
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by maestrob » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:04 pm

Lots of high-quality musiciansgot their start in military bands, including Samuel Barber ad Dave Brubeck. With schools all around the country cutting their arts programs as "unnecessary" I say the more the merrier to keep up our troops' morale.

John F
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by John F » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:20 pm

If Congress is going to spend my money on music, let it be on arts programs in schools, not "military rock acts with artsy names." The kids can do that on their own after school.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:15 pm

Our military bands are an imaginative extension of the schools, as the current Congress is a fanciful form of government. Anyway, the music turns weaponry into a thing of beauty. I like that.


jbuck919
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:01 pm

I would have to write a major essay to comment on this, and I'm just not up to it. No (excuse me for using the convenient masculine) bandsman has as his exclusive duty playing in a calypso band. They all also have concert and marching band duties. In fact, no military bandsman has exclusive band duties. They are all trained in alternative combat duties, and many were deployed on such in Iraq. The bands have always been a huge recruitment incentive, even to those who do not aspire to become bandsmen, which is mainly why they have been surviving these waves of being an easy target for more than half a century. The Air Force Academy now has a cadet band which sounds like a high school drum and bugle corps. i.e. God-awful. I know because I have heard them live. The other two academies maintain professional bands. Playing for social events involving mainly officers has always been part of the bargain. What are they supposed to do, hire a DJ so they can frot in the middle of the dance floor like high school students? The bands have been cut to the bone already. As the article at some point implies, they are another example of the political value of penny wiseness and pound foolishness. Thus my thoughts for the present.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I would have to write a major essay to comment on this, and I'm just not up to it. No (excuse me for using the convenient masculine) bandsman has as his exclusive duty playing in a calypso band. They all also have concert and marching band duties. In fact, no military bandsman has exclusive band duties. They are all trained in alternative combat duties, and many were deployed on such in Iraq. The bands have always been a huge recruitment incentive, even to those who do not aspire to become bandsmen, which is mainly why they have been surviving these waves of being an easy target for more than half a century. The Air Force Academy now has a cadet band which sounds like a high school drum and bugle corps. i.e. God-awful. I know because I have heard them live. The other two academies maintain professional bands. Playing for social events involving mainly officers has always been part of the bargain. What are they supposed to do, hire a DJ so they can frot in the middle of the dance floor like high school students? The bands have been cut to the bone already. As the article at some point implies, they are another example of the political value of penny wiseness and pound foolishness. Thus my th. oughts for the present.
I heard the USMC band in concert and was bowled over by their level of professionalism. Cuts should start with Feds who don't do their jobs. Case in point. Congress. What purpose have they served of late?

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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by John F » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:34 am

jbuck919 wrote:No (excuse me for using the convenient masculine) bandsman has as his exclusive duty playing in a calypso band. They all also have concert and marching band duties.
That's not what the article says or implies. Maybe today's military is not the same as the one you and I knew some generations ago.
jbuck919 wrote:In fact, no military bandsman has exclusive band duties. They are all trained in alternative combat duties, and many were deployed on such in Iraq.
Those military duties can be performed by full-time soldiers, undoubtedly better. There's no need to hire military bandsmen to do them.
jbuck919 wrote:Playing for social events involving mainly officers has always been part of the bargain. What are they supposed to do, hire a DJ so they can frot in the middle of the dance floor like high school students?
How officers entertain themselves at social events does not concern me. But if live music is needed, rather than spinning records, hire it for the occasion from local talent. That's not only more economical but helps professional musicians make ends meet. If you're in the Virgin Islands and want a calypso band, you hardly need to bring your own.

As for DJs, nowadays that's way cooler than the 21st century version of Lester Lanin or whatever. For my niece's wedding years ago, my brother could certainly afford a dance band but hired a DJ instead, not only for the dance music but as master of ceremonies, and nobody was disappointed. Among the many obvious advantages this meant that just about any request could be provided instantly, not in an arrangement but the real thing. I doubt that today's military officers, all but the generals and admirals are in their 20s and 30s, would mind that; for all we know, they may prefer it.
jbuck919 wrote:The bands have been cut to the bone already.
Evidently not.
John Francis

david johnson
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by david johnson » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:33 am

Congress must leave music in the military alone, except to increase its use. I say there are plenty of $50K toilet seats to cut out first.

John F
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by John F » Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:51 am

And I say this country has far more urgent needs for federal support than military music, which as they say is to music as military intelligence is to intelligence. :mrgreen:
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:28 am

John F wrote:And I say this country has far more urgent needs for federal support than military music, which as they say is to music as military intelligence is to intelligence. :mrgreen:
O, reason not the need ... Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s.


John F
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by John F » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:16 am

I like the Bolcom gross concerto. Not so much the U.S. Marine Band's uniform, which looks like a cross between the British Army in dress uniform and a school/college marching band.
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:39 pm

John F wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:No (excuse me for using the convenient masculine) bandsman has as his exclusive duty playing in a calypso band. They all also have concert and marching band duties.
That's not what the article says or implies. Maybe today's military is not the same as the one you and I knew some generations ago.
jbuck919 wrote:In fact, no military bandsman has exclusive band duties. They are all trained in alternative combat duties, and many were deployed on such in Iraq.
Those military duties can be performed by full-time soldiers, undoubtedly better. There's no need to hire military bandsmen to do them.
jbuck919 wrote:Playing for social events involving mainly officers has always been part of the bargain. What are they supposed to do, hire a DJ so they can frot in the middle of the dance floor like high school students?
How officers entertain themselves at social events does not concern me. But if live music is needed, rather than spinning records, hire it for the occasion from local talent. That's not only more economical but helps professional musicians make ends meet. If you're in the Virgin Islands and want a calypso band, you hardly need to bring your own.

As for DJs, nowadays that's way cooler than the 21st century version of Lester Lanin or whatever. For my niece's wedding years ago, my brother could certainly afford a dance band but hired a DJ instead, not only for the dance music but as master of ceremonies, and nobody was disappointed. Among the many obvious advantages this meant that just about any request could be provided instantly, not in an arrangement but the real thing. I doubt that today's military officers, all but the generals and admirals are in their 20s and 30s, would mind that; for all we know, they may prefer it.
jbuck919 wrote:The bands have been cut to the bone already.
Evidently not.
Although you make a couple of good points, you seem to be lending the premises of the article, both from the author and from the opponents of the bands, too much credence. As for the quality of the music, of course it is not up to CMG's classical standards on a day-to-day basis, but the bandsmen frequently perform more serious stuff both among themselves and with local ensembles. (For many years the musicians' union was an obstacle to this, but that has changed, since bandsmen are now allowed to join the union.) In terms of crossover, the Boston Symphony becomes the Boston Pops every summer without batting a fastidious eyelash. Most of the wind section of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic was made up of members of the West Point Band. A member of that band when my father was its arranger, who played a wind instrument, was hired by no less than the Chicago Symphony as a double bass player. If this is the only way government significantly supports musical talent in the country, it is at least better than not supporting it at all.

To jserraglio: The Marine Corps Band, the President's Own, is the sole exception. Its members are civilians under contract who are given honorary ratings and nominal training in military comportment. They do not go to boot camp, have alternative combat duties, have to maintain a rifle range rating, etc.

Didn't we just have another thread on almost this same topic? I feel terribly like I'm repeating myself.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Congress dis-Bands Pentagon

Post by jserraglio » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:35 pm

John F wrote:I like the Bolcom gross concerto. Not so much the U.S. Marine Band's uniform, which looks like a cross between the British Army in dress uniform and a school/college marching band.
Ceremonial & Concert Full Dress
Marine Band musicians wear scarlet full dress coats, blue trousers with a unique red and white stripe, and white covers (hats) with gold Marine Corps emblems. The Marine dress uniform is traditionally blue with red trim, but the Marine Band wears these colors in reverse order with scarlet coats and distinctive braid. The tradition dates to the time of the Revolutionary War [The USMCband was established by an Act of Congress in 1798] when field musicians were used to send signals on the battlefield and in camp and needed to be easily recognizable. This uniform has remained largely unchanged since John Philip Sousa was Director of the band.


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