Band Structure and Key Personnel

Players

The players are, of course, essential to the existence of the band. Salvation Army musicians have some common characteristics. Almost all Salvation Army bands have standards such as those listed below.

  • The musician must be a member, in good standing, of a corps. In most cases, the individual must be enrolled as a soldier. Youth bands usually require that members attend a corps regularly and be of the proper age.
  • Most bands have some standards of musicianship. For example, a corps band may require that anyone wishing to join the band be able to play selected tunes from the Band Tune Book. Larger bands such as regional groups often have audition and/or invitation policies.
  • Salvationist musicians are volunteers. No monetary compensation is given for service in a band.

Band Board

A “Band Board” is a committee that oversees the operations of a band. Most corps bands do not have full, formal boards. The definitions shown on this page are generic; each band may have its own variation on the scope and composition of the band board.

Executive Officer

All Salvation Army bands are sponsored by some level of the command structure. The executive officer is the official representative of the sponsoring organization. This person serves as the chairman of the band board. In most cases, the executive officer is not a player in the band.

For a corps band, the corps officer is the de facto executive officer.

Bandmaster

The bandmaster is the musical director and conductor of the band. This person has the primary responsibility for selecting music, developing performance programs, and setting the musical standards for the group. Larger groups often have a deputy bandmaster, who fulfills the duties of the bandmaster in case of absence. The deputy is usually a player.

In a corps setting, the bandmaster is a senior local officer, with an automatic seat on the corps council. Regional and staff bandmasters are usually appointed by the commander of the sponsoring unit.

Secretary

The duties of the band secretary include recording the minutes and decisions of the band board, communication between the board and the players, and logistical details for engagements. When a band travels, the secretary is responsible for making the transportation and accommodation arrangements. If dues are collected, the secretary handles them unless a treasurer is designated. The band secretary is usually a player.

Sergeant

Salvation Army bands have a spiritual purpose. The band sergeant is the band’s chaplain. The sergeant also handles discipline and attendance problems. The band sergeant is usually a player.

Quartermaster

The quartermaster is responsible for the band’s uniforms and equipment, including any instruments owned by the band. The quartermaster is usually a player.

Librarian

The band librarian is responsible for the music library, and the distribution of parts to the appropriate players. The librarian is usually a player.