Family Programs
101st Army Band forms 
By Army National Guard Sgt. Sean Hedding, 101st Army Band 
101st Army Band 
The Colorado Army National Guard’s 101st Army Band’s plays on stage during its free, public concert at Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver March 7, 2010, in celebration of the Colorado National Guard’s 150th anniversary. (Official National Guard photo by Pfc. Bethany Fehringer /Released)

On Sep. 18, 1937, the 101st Army Band was organized and federally recognized in the Colorado National Guard as the Band Section of Service Battery of the 168th Field Artillery in Denver.

It was separated from the Service Battery July 1, 1940, and reorganized as the Band, 168th Field Artillery.

The band was inducted into federal service Feb. 24, 1941. During this time period, the band was moved to a temporary change of station at Camp Roberts, Calif.

It was again reorganized and re-designated on March 6, 1943 as the Band, Sixth Replacement Depot, and prepared for deployment in the South Pacific Theater. The unit arrived for duty in New Caledonia on May 16, 1943 aboard the ship Tjisadone.

In March 1944, the Band was re-designated twice; first as the 396th Army Band, then as the 396th Army Band Service Forces Band.

Relieved of its post Aug. 15, 1944, the band was transferred to Manila, Philippine Islands. It was deactivated from its Philippine post April 5, 1946.

On May 10, 1946, this unit was finally re-designated as the 101st Army Band and federally recognized on Feb. 24, 1947, once again, in Denver.

The 101st participated in Veterans Day ceremonies in 1989 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, helping to relieve the trauma of Hurricane Hugo just two months after that storm devastated the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix.

In 1991, the 101st Army Band welcomed home every returning Colorado National Guard veteran of the war in the Persian Gulf.

In 1992, the 101st traveled to the Dominican Republic. On a 10-day tour, it entertained in the capital city of Santo Domingo and outlying communities.

For its annual training tour in 1993, the band also entertained in Nicaragua. It performed concerts in several Nicaraguan cities, including the capital city of Managua, where it was featured in the annual Fourth of July ceremonies.

During the decade of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the operational tempo of the 101st Army Band increased significantly. In addition to performing for Soldiers departing for deployment and coming home, the 101st has performed many musical missions of considerable gravity.

The Dixie and Country groups performed for Colorado State Dinners and the Protocol Combo traveled to Washington to entertain Colorado’s State of the State delegation. The Centennial Winds have become a regular performer for Memorial Day Ceremonies and the Rock Band performs for major events like the Bolder Boulder and the Denver People's Fair.

The Band performed for the funeral of Brig. Gen. Felix Sparks in addition to providing musical support to the internment of hundreds of other Soldiers and veterans.

Three concerts per year for the civilian community, along with an annual musical tour of the state and providing entertainment to veterans' homes is the band's baseline, with anywhere from 50 to 70 missions for audiences totaling hundreds of thousands of military members, citizens and veterans.

In 2010, the 101st performed at the Elle Caulkins Opera House in Denver to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Colorado National Guard. In 2012 it commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Colorado Guard's Battle of Glorieta Pass, the decisive Civil War battle that many historians have dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West."

In 2012, the 101st celebrated its 75th anniversary as a U.S. Army Band.