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Army Bandsperson (42R)

Arts and Media Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve

Music plays an important role in the Army. Members of Army Bands are involved in the vibrant tradition of performing at Army ceremonies, parades, concerts, festivals, dances and many other events. Musicians perform in a variety of ensembles ranging from ceremonial band to jazz band to small ensembles, playing all styles of music.

The Army Bandsperson specializes in one (or more) of the following instruments: Tuba, Trombone, Euphonium, Bassoon, Electric Bass Guitar, Saxophone, Flute or Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Percussion, Cornet or Trumpet, Guitar, and Keyboard.

The Bandsperson is primarily responsible for performing and rehearsing as a professional musician within different ensembles of an Army Band.

Some of your duties as a Bandsperson may include:

  • Playing in or leading bands, orchestras, combos, jazz groups or small ensembles
  • Performing for ceremonies, parades, concerts, festivals and dances
  • Performing all applicable styles of music
  • Performing auxiliary percussion in a ceremonial band
  • Transposing moderately easy music
  • Rehearsing and learning new music when not performing
  • Participating in security duties during heightened combat intensity as required


In order to qualify for a position with the Army Band, you must pass one or more auditions. You must be a fairly accomplished musician and have good music sight-reading ability.


Job training for a Bandsperson consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, during which you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills. You’ll also need up to 24 weeks of Advanced Individual Training at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA. Training length can vary depending on your level of instrumental proficiency.

Some training includes:

  • Private instrumental instruction
  • Music theory
  • Sight singing and ear training
  • Group instrumental techniques
  • Percussion techniques

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • Being an accomplished instrumentalist
  • Understanding music theory and harmony
  • Ability to exhibit poise when performing
  • Ability to play more than one instrument

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Bandmembers supervise and train other Soldiers. They also perform duties in administration, training, supply and/or operations as required.

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