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".

Zweibrucken Zweibrucken

where the orchestra played
on June 2, 1954

April 9, 2023
By request of his daughter Eileen, Ralph Sordyl (bassoon '57 - '58) is now listed on the site. He died in July 2022. Here is an obituary.
In attempting to contact orchestra members recently, it was discovered that more than 55 other bios contain invalid email addresses, and at least 16 others don't include an email address. Members, please check your email and send any corrections or additions to Chris Earnest (webmaster). In fact, while you're at it, you might check to see if your bio needs updating.
As your webmaster, I'd like to sincerely thank those who have recently made contributions, some very generous, toward the maintenance of this site.
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, $99. 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. (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 3/13/22)
remove Peter Smith
In Memoriam
(Updated 4/9/23)
Ralph Sordyl
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© 1997-2023 Ronald V. Rhodes & Christopher Earnest  (last update - May 29, 2023)

      E-Mail: Chris Earnest