The Armed Forces School of Music
Today the Armed Forces School of Music provides instruction and orientation for its service musicians. However, during World War I, the musicians often had little musical training, and during battles, musicians served as stretcher bearers. |
Apparently Walter and his older brother Frank Damrosch were instrumental in their own ways in establishing schools for these services. The brothers' experiences and contributions in the U.S., England and France are related here in separate exerpts:
In 1911, (older brother of Walter), Dr. Frank Damrosch of the Institute of Musical Arts, City of New York, saw a need to improve American military music. Kneller Hall, in England was the training facility used by the British Military Band Program. Dr. Damrosch used this school as a model when he started the school in New York City to train bandleaders. The classes were small, with only five graduates a year.
In 1920, this school was designated as a Special Services School, moved to the U.S. Army War College in Washington D.C., and was authorized a yearly student load of 215 soldiers. The training of bandsmen was later moved to Camp Crowder, Missouri and Camp Lee, Virginia then centralized at Camp Lee, Virginia. In 1951 military musician training was consolidated at the U.S. Naval School of Music, Anacostia Naval Station, Washington D.C. On August 12, 1964, the U.S. Naval School of Music was relocated to the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base (Little Creek), Norfolk, Virginia.
Back to Walter Damrosch
Return to Performers