Uncle Sam's Orchestra

Uncle Sam's Orchestra

Memories of the Seventh Army Symphony

John Canarina


University of Rochester Press



A humorous look at the accomplishments of America's Seventh Army Symphony during its 10-year, European tour-of-duty from 1952-1962.
The United States once maintained a symphony orchestra, the Seventh Army Symphony, based in Stuttgart, Germany. Formed in 1952 as a public relations measure, it was intended to demonstrate to the Europeans, and the Germans in particular, that American soldiers were young men of culture capable of appreciating and performing the music of Beethoven, Brahms, and other great composers with feeling and understanding. In this the orchestra was extremely successful, touring repeatedly throughout (West) Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

In spite of the great acclaim and enthusiasm with which it was received throughout Europe, the orchestra encountered difficulty and some outright hostility from the U.S. Army itself, which did not quite know what to do with a symphony orchestra in its midst. Therefore, in addition to paying tribute to the important work the orchestra did in the field of cultural relations, this book chronicles the many humorous incidents that arose out of the perennial friction between the rather unmilitary orchestra and the "regular Army" personnel with whom it came in direct contact.

For a 39-minute documentary film made about Samuel Adler and the Seventh Army Symphony, click here and type this password: adler2011

An e-book version of this title is available (9789058527867), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


April 1998
36 black and white illustrations
222 pages
22.8x15.2 in
ISBN: 9781580460194
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS023000, HIS027130
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The book is a marvelous collection...very humorous, extremely interesting and well written. --ALLEGRO, April 1999