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".

Kornwestheim Kornwestheim

where the orchestra played
on September 25. 1956

September 20, 2020
The sad news of the deaths over the years of a number of members have not been previously reported here or recorded on the site. Those discovered so far, with dates of their passings and links to obituaries, are:

   Rocco Gioia (violin '53 - '54) February 2, 2009 obituary
   Kenneth DeRosier (trumpet '53 - '54) July 15, 2013 obituary
   Joseph Work (viola '55 - '56) February 7, 2014 obituary
   Chilton Anderson (cello 1953 - ?) March 12, 2014 obituary
   Glenore Hanna (viola 1952) March 1, 2016 obituary
   Frank Church (cello 12/59 - 6/61) February 3, 2018 obituary
   Donald Caldwell (violin 8/55 - 11/56) December 29, 2018 obituary
   James Bolle (viola '55 - '57) April 14, 2019 obituary
   Tom Wiand (cello '54 - '55) February 13, 2020 obituary
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 9/20/20)
Chilton Andersen
James Bolle
Donald Caldwell
Frank Church
Kenneth DeRosier
Rocco Gioia
Glenore Hanna
Tom Wiand
Joseph Work

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© 1997-2020 Ronald V. Rhodes & Christopher Earnest  (last update - September 20, 2020)

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