Pop Quiz: Who Is The Largest Employer Of Full-Time Musicians In The U.S.?


By: Drew McManus

In: Catch All

Whether you’re home all day enjoying the holiday with family and friends or your organization is putting on an event today, try to take a few moments to remember the reason for the holiday. Furthermore, take a moment to remember that the single largest employer of full-time professional musicians is the United States Armed Forces. And that doesn’t even include the multitude of administrative and support personnel!

Band Facts

[fivecol_one]USAF[/fivecol_one] [fivecol_four_last]

The United States Air Force Band

MISSION: The U.S. Air Force Band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.

ABOUT: Through world-class musical presentations and ceremonies, The U.S. Air Force Band helps create bonds between the United States and the worldwide community. Using music to bridge language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences, the Band’s performances advance international relationships and inspire positive and long-lasting impressions of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.

The excellence demonstrated by our Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence carried out 24 hours a day by Airmen stationed around the globe. These professionals are proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens.


  • Global reach to billions through television, radio and the Internet
  • Congressionally-mandated support of ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery
  • Presentations at high-level events (including events for the President, Vice-President, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force), national outreach events and global deployments
  • Performances designed to enhance morale and esprit de corps of our military servicemembers and their families
  • Annual performance tours throughout the U.S.


[fivecol_one]USArmy[/fivecol_one] [fivecol_four_last]

The United States Army Band

MISSION: Army Bands provide music throughout the spectrum of military operations to instill in our soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad.

ABOUT (originally published at dc.about.com): U.S. Army Bands are set up as modular units – Musical Performance Teams (MPTs) so they can operate and perform independently or combine to form larger ensembles to support musical missions in multiple geographical areas. The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” is a musical organization that contains eight official ensembles and primarily serves within the Washington D.C. area. The U.S. Army Field Band, under the command of the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs serves the entire nation. The U.S. Military Academy Band serves in the other academies and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps serves as ceremonial support in the style of the American Revolutionary era.

Did you know you can request a US Army Band clinician?

Per the www.music.army.mil website:

This form portal is provided to make it more convenient for educators to request clinicians, clinic teams, master classes and guest conductors.

Our ability to fulfill these requests is subject to availability and may be superseded by military commitments. Please ensure your request is submitted as early as possible.

If an Army band is not close to your location, you may be asked to cost share or to reimburse travel expenses. That can be discussed with the individual band working on your request.

No honoraria can be accepted by Soldiers on official duty. As an example, an honors band desiring one of our officers as a guest conductor/clinician would only be required to reimburse any travel expenses.

[button link=”https://www.music.army.mil/education/requestaclinician/” bg_color=”#e6353a” border=”#e6353a”]Request a Clinician[/button]


[fivecol_one]USMarines[/fivecol_one] [fivecol_four_last]

“The Presidents Own” United States Marine Band

ABOUT: Established by an Act of Congress in 1798, the United States Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Its mission is unique—to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

President John Adams invited the Marine Band to make its White House debut on New Year’s Day, 1801, in the then-unfinished Executive Mansion. In March of that year, the band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration and it is believed that it has performed for every presidential inaugural since. In Jefferson, the band found its most visionary advocate. An accomplished musician himself, Jefferson recognized the unique relationship between the band and the Chief Executive and he is credited with giving the Marine Band its title, “The President’s Own.”


[fivecol_one]US Navy[/fivecol_one] [fivecol_four_last]

The United States Navy Band

MISSION: To provide musical support to the President of the United States, the Department of the Navy (DON), and other senior military and government officials. Through ceremonies, national and regional tours, public concerts, and recordings, the U.S. Navy Band inspires patriotism, elevates esprit de corps, enhances Navy awareness and public relations, supports recruiting and retention efforts, preserves the Nation’s musical heritage, and projects a positive image at home and abroad.

ABOUT:  The United States Navy Band is the premier musical organization of the U.S. Navy. Comprised of six primary performing groups as well as a host of smaller ensembles, “The World’s Finest” is capable of playing any style of music in any setting.

Since its inception in 1925, the Navy Band has been entertaining audiences and supporting the Navy with some of the best musicians in the country. From national concert tours to presidential inaugurals to memorial services at Arlington National Cemetery, the Navy Band proudly represents the men and women of the largest, most versatile, most capable naval force on the planet today: America’s Navy.

One hundred seventy enlisted musicians, recruited from the finest music schools and professional musical organizations, perform over 270 public concerts and 1,300 ceremonies each year. In addition to their demanding performance and rehearsal schedules, band members are responsible for the daily administration of the organization, including operations, public affairs, a large music library, information systems and supply. As the Navy’s musical ambassadors, band members maintain the highest standards of appearance, military bearing and physical fitness.

The Navy Band is dedicated to the education of younger musicians. The Music in the Schools program features band members presenting clinics, master classes and recitals at local schools. Every spring, the Concert Band hosts their annual High School Concerto Competition. Finally, the band’s annual International Saxophone Symposium proudly boasts one of the largest audiences in the U.S. for an event of its kind.

The United States Navy Band, nationally and internationally, stands for musical and military excellence. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall, the White House or a rural civic auditorium; sharing the stage with Ernest Borgnine, Itzhak Perlman, Branford Marsalis or Vince Gill; or appearing on television programs like “Today,” “Meet the Press” and “Good Morning America” and in films like “Clear and Present Danger,” the United States Navy Band is constantly reaffirming why they are “The World’s Finest.”


[fivecol_one]US Coast Guard[/fivecol_one] [fivecol_four_last]

The United States Coast Guard Band

MISSION: Promote public goodwill toward the U. S. Coast Guard and the country we serve. Preserve and honor the heritage, traditions and history of our nation and the Coast Guard. Perform for official functions, enhance pride within our service, and support Coast Guard recruiting activities.

ABOUT: The United States Coast Guard Band is the premier band representing the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. The 55-member ensemble has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the nation, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. The Band also has a rich history of performing internationally: it is especially honored to have been the first American military band to perform in the former Soviet Union, with concerts in Leningrad and the surrounding area in 1989. In 2008, the Coast Guard Band became the first premier American military band to perform a concert tour of Japan. In addition, the US Coast Guard Brass Quintet and Saxophone Quartet performed throughout Taiwan to great acclaim in 2010, and the full band completed a tour in Taiwan in July of 2011.



Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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