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The Social Media Contributor Comments: December 24, 2012



Beyonce and the W.A.C. Band

Recently, I caught a glimpse of a TV concert (filmed in Vegas 2009) starring Beyonce’ Knowles [aka Mrs. JayZ]. Her Voice and show(wo)manship was impeccable {as always}. As every musician knows..all too well..it’s the Backup Band that makes or breaks the headliner. Upon close inspection, I noticed . . . Storified by Andre V. Milteer M.A., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 Beyonce’s band was All Girls –that’s right; the entire 15-piece group were females. The Band ROCKED! Horns were fire and screech, rhythm section tight and stump’in, strings and guitars were on-point. TOTAL GIRL POWER!

What’s the Beyonce’ Connection to the W.A.C. Band?

For all of the Non-Military-Musicians out there, W.A.C. is a military acronym for Women’s Army Corps. “Separate but equal,” females were part of an Army active-duty service that honored the Department of Defense’s time-honored tradition and regulation to exclude females from combat-related service. As with the major Regular Army units, W.A.C. [major] units were internally supported by their own military band.

Upon my entry into active service, 1977, I served with a few of these [former] Soldier-Musicians. To name a few: MSG (Ret) Melinda Whitman, SSG (Ret) Connie Rhoda, and CW5 [Active] Jeannie Pace. Throughout history, military and civilian, women have displayed their feats of musical talent. However, the genres of jazz and rock have been overshadowed with images and sounds of male musicians.

Surprising to me, was my own biases toward the concept of females as performers within the jazz/pop/rock/r&b genres. As stated previously, my three Soldier-Musician contemporaries performed their military and musical duties with distinction. Yet why was it surprising to me that Beyonce’s Kick-butt..thumpandbump band could be not only very good..but also ALL WOMEN?

The answer is clear. Just as Soldier/Sailors/Marines/Airmen all bleed RED underneath it all, musicianship is not reserved for the male chromosome exclusively. Music is designed to be heard rather than seen. Note to self: Not peeking at the band…close my eyes and enjoy the sounds of the band. What are your thoughts about this topic…are female musicians as good [if not better] as male musicians?

Beyonce My Diva
RT @ChathamPhoto: The Debrief new post World War II veteran played trumpet in Glenn Miller’s band.
My Desert California Guard

Military band Sidewinder performing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” at the White House – Rough Cuts via YouTube – Debra L Stanley


Click here to view “Women in the Army Band” [A follow-up to Beyonce and the WAC Band]

In a very interesting response to Andre’s above posted commentary, Karen Syverson SFC, US Army retired submitted a message viewable by clicking on the link directly above.

Thanks Karen, from all of us at MilitaryBandsman.Com for your informative & kind words!


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