Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Symphony
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.
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