7th Army Symphony

Dedicated to the players of the orchestra       (last update - October 23, 2016)
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Existing in Germany from 1952 to 1962, this orchestra is still remembered.   Clarinetist Jerry Mattson expresses it aptly: "I don't normally live in the past, but I have yet to come across anyone with a comparable experience to hark back to.  Those were strange and wonderful years."

In David Furholmen's video from the 2006 reunion, Sam Adler, founder and first conductor of the orchestra, tells the remarkable story of how it all began -- and how the orchestra "brought a message of peace and of friendship through the language of music to a large part of the world". For a 39-minute documentary film giving a fuller account of Sam's life and the beginnings of the orchestra, use this link and enter the password "adler2011".

Photo courtesty of Franz Haselbeck
Orchestra in Traunstein Orchestra in Traunstein
The orchestra in Traunstein

for the concert on October 10, 1953

October 23, 2016
Many thanks to Franz Haselbeck, Stadt Archivist in Traunstein, for sending along the above photo along with other materials, including this review (in German), that he found in the city's archives.
The review includes the program, which is the first one the site has had from 1953:

  Couperin/Milhaud   Overture and Allegro
  Walter Piston     Suite from The Incredible Flutist
  Samuel Barber    Adagio for Strings
  Bizet         Selections from Carmen, with vocalist Sarah Hoff
       -- Intermission --
  Tchaikovsky     Symphony No. 5

Lost Sheep List
(Updated 6/28/14)
remove Marvin Cox
In Memoriam
(Updated 7/17/16)
Ronald Rhodes
Books About the Orchestra or Orchestra Members:
Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Symphony, by John Canarina (bass and conductor in 1959-60), 1998.  50 b/w illus., musical examples, 224 pages, 6 x 9, $65. Available via Print on Demand from Boydell & Brewer, 668 Mount Hope Avenue Rochester, NY 14620-2731, 585-275-0419. Former 7ASO members should be able to get a 25 per cent discount.
Kenneth Schermerhorn: He Will Always Be the Music, by Martha Rivers Ingram with D. B. Kellogg, 2006. 65 photos, 391 pages; $24.99. (Ken played trumpet and conducted in 1953-55). Available online from Amazon and other sellers.
Also of interest are several books that include stories about the orchestra, by David Amram, Michael Colgrass, and John Sant'Ambrogio.

© 1997-2016 Ronald V. Rhodes & Christopher Earnest
E-Mail: Chris Earnest
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