Published January 29, 2018 – All over the country, Army Bands are facing budget cuts that will drastically impact their efforts for community outreach. Army Bands at bases in Texas, Alabama, Virginia, and Arizona and locally, at Fort Gordon, are scheduled for deactivation in 2019 due to Congressional budget cuts to army spending.
The missions of the Army Band lend the talents of Army musicians to both military and community events. The Army Band shares first-rate musical performances with all parts of society at military ceremonies, veterans programs, nursing homes, community celebrations and parades.
In Augusta, you may see the Army Band performing everywhere from graduation celebrations and the weekly Saturday Market on the River, to comforting the families of veterans at the ceremonies of military funerals. The Army Band and its musicians are integral members of the Augusta community.
In fiscal year 2017, the Fort Gordon Army Band performed over 218 missions according to their operations reports. These performances range from shows at educational functions to events held for families of soldiers. In fiscal year 2016, the Army Band completed 258 missions all over the Southeast. In comparison, similar musical groups in the Augusta area perform shorter concert series held 4-5 times each year.
The Greater Augusta Arts Council believes an important aspect of the Augusta arts community will be lost if the Army follows through on deactivating the Army Band at Fort Gordon. The Augusta Chronicle reported on the Army’s decisions on the band’s future in October 2016, writing that the Band would be deactivated in 2019 and has been cut from 36 members to 12 in the meantime. However, with the upcoming changes to Fort Gordon that will come in late 2018 with the Cyber Command relocation to Augusta, the Band will be as critical to our growing arts community as ever.
Awareness of the Band’s importance in Augusta can still make a difference. The Arts Council has created a petition for our community members to sign their support for the continued existence of the Fort Gordon Army Band. Sign online here https://www.change.org/p/association-of-the-us-army-show-support-for-the-fort-gordon-army-band
The Arts Council also urges for arts supporters in the Augusta community to reach out to their representatives to express their interest in supporting the Army Band at Fort Gordon. The following page contains contact information for key representatives and community leaders, as well as media features documenting the initial Army band cutbacks made in 2015-2016.
Representatives and offices to contact with concerns about the Fort Gordon Army Band:
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson www.isakson.senate.gov/public
Congressman Rick Allen,
12th District of Georgia https://allen.house.gov
Fort Gordon Veteran’s Affairs 706-868-7261
US Army Cyber Center of Excellence
Secretary General Staff (706) 791-2114
Association of the US Army 706- 821-1312
Fort Gordon Garrison Commander (706) 791-6300
The Greater Augusta Arts Council also keeps list of key representatives for the Augusta Area on our website at:
Army Band Media Features
Signal Corps Band no longer based at Fort Gordon, Augusta Chronicle, 10-16
A Swan Song For Some Military Bands: Budget Cuts Stop The Music, The American Homefront Project, September 2017