7th Army Symphony

This site is dedicated to the players of the orchestra, which existed in Germany from 1952 to 1962, and 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".

Ed and June Alley Ed and June Alley
the late Ed Alley

Wedding photo with June LeBell 2010

July 14, 2020 (Special Edition)
This week comes the very sad news that Ed Alley (bass, conductor '58 - '60) died on July 12. Among many other things, Ed was the orchestra manager of the New York Philharmonic for several years, and conducted hundreds of performances of the Goldovsky Opera Theater. He was very active in musical circles in Sarasota, most recently hosting the Music Mondays program for the Sarasota Institute for Lifetime Learning. He took a major part in several 7ASO reunions, and contributed an abundance of material to this site, including many recordings of the orchestra he had made while in Germany. He will be sorely missed. Here is an article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune about his life.
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.
Lost Sheep List
(Updated 1/7/18)
remove Thomas Lewis
In Memoriam
(Updated 7/14/20)
Ed Alley

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