Friday, July 1, 2016

Trim down the bands?

As US military musicians prepare to serenade Fourth of July celebrants across the country and overseas, Congress is poised to force the services to reduce its spending on bands and other ensembles, which last year came to $437 million – nearly triple the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Pentagon fields more than 130 military bands worldwide, made up of about 6,500 musicians, and not just in traditional brass and drum corps . . . . 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,” The New York Times’ Dave Philipps reports: