Dating back over 225 years to the Revolutionary War, band members have always been an important part of the U.S. Army. And with assignments around the world plus a long list of benefits, the Army Band Program offers talented musicians a unique opportunity to do what they do best—play music. If you’re interested in earning a living while embracing your passion for music, then check out what the Army Band Program has to offer you.
Whether you’re performing to boost Soldiers’ morale, entertain civilians, or assist with military ceremonies, you’ll be part of a group of talented musicians who support the Army’s mission around the world.
And as a member of the Army Band Program, you’ll be given the creative freedom to perform a wide variety of music styles alongside fellow musicians who have the same passion for music that you do. What’s more, you’ll play professional quality instruments, enjoy paid vacations, receive medical and dental benefits for you and your family and take advantage of educational benefits like money for college. In short, the Army Band Program is a guaranteed career in music.
Benefits & Initiatives
Being a musician in the Army is nothing like having a 9-5 job. That’s because as a member of the Army Band Program, playing music is your job. You’ll receive benefits that’ll allow you the freedom to concentrate on your music without worrying about where the next paycheck is coming from—benefits you won’t find as a civilian musician.
- Money for College
- The Montgomery GI Bill and the Army College Fund (up to $70,000) OR
- The Army College Loan Repayment Program (up to $65,000) can help you with student loan payments
- High Grad Bonus for all instruments:
- 30 or more college credit hours = $3,000
- 60 or more college credit hours = $6,000
- 2 year Associates Degree or Equivalent = $7,000
- 4 year Bachelors Degree or Equivalent = $8,000
- The Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program (ACASP) Bonus = $3000
- Health care, life insurance and other essential benefits are provided at low or no cost
- Tuition Assistance pays 100 percent of your educational benefits while on Active Duty
- Entrance into the Army at an advanced pay grade
- Travel around the country (and the world) making great music
- Station of choice from available bands 90 days prior to Basic Training Departure
- Professional quality instruments, supplies and music provided free of charge
- Enlistment bonus for French Horn, Clarinet, Oboe and Bassoon (additional bonus for Keyboard):
- $2,000 for three-year enlistment/$3,000 for Keyboard
- $3,000 for four-year enlistment/$5,000 for Keyboard
- $5,000 for five-year enlistment/$7,000 for Keyboard
- $6,000 for six-year enlistment/$8,000 for Keyboard
The Army Band Program is open to talented musicians, male or female, who are qualified to enlist in the Army and can pass a prearranged audition. But more importantly, the program is for anyone who has a passion for his/her instrument and a love for playing and performing music.
Once you are accepted into the Army Band Program, you will be required to complete nine weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT)—just like any other recruit joining the Army—where you will learn the fundamentals of being a Soldier.
But, after BCT, you’ll get down to 24 weeks of serious musical study—Advanced Individual Training (AIT)—at the School of Music in Norfolk, VA. Once you’ve completed AIT, you’ll then be assigned to a band and will begin doing what you love—practicing, playing and performing.
The first step to joining the Army Band Program is the audition. When and where this takes place will be worked out with your Recruiter, the auditioner and you. Below is what is expected from you at the audition. The main interest is in your sight-reading ability and demonstrated musicianship, i.e. tone, technique, rhythm and intonation.