BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro American Legion Band is sponsoring a concert by the 40th Army Band on Sunday at 1 p.m., at the Legion Hall on Linden Street. This band was organized in Brattleboro as the 1st Infantry Band, in 1907. Now, 105 years later, it continues to receive rewards and accolades not only in the United States but in other nations. There is no admission charge for this concert.
During World War II, the band served with the 43rd Division in the South Pacific. After the war, it was briefly reorganized as the 43rd Division Band before coming by its present title in March 1947 at Rutland.
The band has been stationed at various locations throughout Vermont: Rutland (1947-1954), Proctor (1954-1964) and Burlington (1964-1990). Currently, the band enjoys its home station in the Green Mountain Armory at Camp Johnson in Colchester.
The band occasionally ventures beyond Vermont’s borders for special training and performance missions. In 1979 and 1985, the unit performed at the request of Vermont’s Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C., entertaining visitors on the steps of the Capitol and the Ellipse in front of the White House.
In May 1990, the band was invited to play at the International Alpini Reunion Festival in Verona, Italy. As the only band representing the United States, The 40th Army Band led the festival parade before an audience of more than a million spectators. The President
The prestigious Association of Concert Bands held its 1994 convention in Burlington, and The 40th Army Band was selected by audition to perform in the featured evening concert for this event.
The band journeyed south to Fort Clayton, Panama, in 1995 and to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 2005 where it replaced active Army bands each time for two weeks. In 2010, The 40th Army Band ventured to Fort McPherson, Georgia, to fill in for the Army Ground Forces Band.
The band’s members pursue varied civilian occupations including careers in the fields of technology, law, insurance, education and governmental public service. Nearly half of the members have attained a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in music.
In addition to the accolades the band has received for its music, it has also earned several state and national military awards for outstanding rifle marksmanship and overall military performance. With the Eisenhower Trophy, The Pershing Award and the Adjutant General’s Match Trophy on hand, the unit can certainly live up to its nickname, "The 40th Army Shootin’ Tootin’ Band."
In 2007, the band celebrated its 60th anniversary year with a special 4th of July concert featuring alumni and current members. The band’s buglers have performed "Taps" for more than 100 military funerals and memorial services.