My Army band memories came flooding back yesterday afternoon as we sat in the mezzanine of the Bill Heard Theater. The Fort Benning band, now called the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band, was delighting an almost-full house with its annual Christmas concert, “Ringing in the Holidays!” ( Bill Heard is a 2,000-seat theater.) The band also packed them in again for the evening performance. It got a long, standing ovation at the end of the concert, and, I am sure it was not just because Columbus is an Army town, one that continually shows its appreciation for the Fort Benning troops, but because it was an excellent concert.
The 30th Army Band, the one in which I was a percussionist and drum major in 1954-55, no longer exists, and a Google search produced no history of it. It was located at McGraw Kaserne, Munich, Germany, which was headquarters for the U.S. Army in southern Germany.
We also played some concerts for civilians, but our main function was to play for review parades, not only at McGraw Kasern, but for Army posts all over southern Bavaria. Every week we would board a bus and travel to other kaserns and posts. The views could be spectacular as the bus would wend its way to some remote posts high in the Alps.