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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningSchools, Colleges and Conservatories(Moderators: john sandhagen, zemry) What schooling is necessary if I want to be in military band?
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Exzaclee

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« Reply #20 on: Sep 12, 2017, 05:22AM »

They are optimistically including BAH and other pays that aren't included on the pay scale, as well as COLA for the DC area. An O1 stationed around DC would be making a lot more.

The premier bands seem to all start you out at E6 pay, plus single or w/ dependant rate BAH.

The unfortunate thing is that the pay seems OK, but DC is extremely expensive to live in/near.

I hear ya, Harrison. That said, a trombonist making 50K a year anywhere in the states is good bread. Some years I'm lucky to bring in 25K and I make it work just fine. I understand DC is expensive, but a single person can live just fine on 52K a year. And the military offers plenty of benefits (while you're in anyway) that the rest of us simply don't get. I live in Oklahoma which has a pretty decent cost of living associated with it. That said, I guarantee you my nut is much higher than anyone in the military bands when you figure in my mortgage, health insurance costs, grocery bills (no PX)/sales tax, etc. All those little economic benefits add up pretty big. Hell, last time I was on the road my dry cleaning bill was getting into about $200 a month. Those little things add up.

One friend of mine was making in the high 90s when he retired. Let's not act like this isn't a good paying gig. It doesn't pay full time broadway money, but it doesn't have near the costs associated with it either.
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #21 on: Sep 12, 2017, 06:31AM »

I was basing my idea off of the expense of DC on a recent Fortune Mag article that said the cost of living for an average family of 4 was over 100K just to cover housing, trans, medical, and food. I hear you too, especially if you are a single person, the gig is great at entry level!

Now, if you stick it out in the regular active duty bands or the DC bands, it can become very financially rewarding. Pershings own has two or three trombonists who are E9s. Nearly all the trombonists are currently E7s and E8s. E8 and E9 pay is up there with some of the better orchestras. But this category of musician includes MSG Harry Watters, so take a number, and in the meantime we can all "power practice". Those guys can really play!

There is NO doubt that a military music career can be extremely rewarding, musically, service-wise, and financially.
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« Reply #22 on: Sep 14, 2017, 03:27PM »

Please don't sign up for the US Military if you don't want to deploy overseas and support the US mission and troops. Or if you are really worried about it, sign up for the Coast Guard or one of the DC bands.

Otherwise, don't do it.

(This is just my personal experience and not an official view)

You shouldn’t talk **** about the Coasties. They’re DHS now. They can look you up in the DOD database and flag you.
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Exzaclee

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« Reply #23 on: Sep 14, 2017, 07:09PM »

They can look you up in the DOD database and flag you.

oooooh, scared....
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BGuttman
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« Reply #24 on: Sep 14, 2017, 07:19PM »

oooooh, scared....

I dooubt there are too many Coasties in Oklahoma :-P
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« Reply #25 on: Sep 14, 2017, 08:36PM »

I dooubt there are too many Coasties in Oklahoma :-P

3 week wonder.
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« Reply #26 on: Sep 14, 2017, 08:53PM »

Back to the original question, any job in music needs just enough education to play the best at the audition. There is no real downside to having more education than whatever that minimum is, but there is an obvious downside to not getting enough training. In other words, it's about playing at a high level, and some people get there sooner than others.

If the OP is hoping to work in a military band, they should find the best school that they can get into, with the best teacher(s) that they have access to, and work their a.. off to get to their goal. The music business doesn't have a lot of full-time jobs - any of them, no matter how the pay stacks up, will be competitive in terms of who they attract to apply for them.

Good luck to the OP - I hope it works out for them.

Jim Scott
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« Reply #27 on: Sep 15, 2017, 09:06PM »

You shouldn’t talk **** about the Coasties.

I don't think you understand what my post was saying, schiltz. Definitely wasn't putting down the Coast Guard, or their band. You should read into what I was actually telling the OP to do, as far as the DC military bands and the Coast Guard Band are concerned. I thought it was clever.
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88HTCL - Griego 1C
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pBone (with Yellow bell for bright tone)
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« Reply #28 on: Sep 15, 2017, 09:37PM »

I don't think you understand what my post was saying, schiltz. Definitely wasn't putting down the Coast Guard, or their band. You should read into what I was actually telling the OP to do, as far as the DC military bands and the Coast Guard Band are concerned. I thought it was clever.

I did too. Very clever. But I just had to stir the pot.
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