Some of the most celebrated and stirring compositions by John Williams, including many written for films, find one of their roots into one of America’s most fruitful and longest musical traditions, namely the music for concert band, also known as symphonic band, or wind orchestra.
John Williams’ ties with this specific instrumental ensemble go as far as to his childhood, when among the instruments he played as a youngster, other than piano, were clarinet, trumpet and trombone. Later in his life, he served from 1951 to 1955 in the U.S. Air Force. He served primarily as a pianist and brass player, but also did arranging and writing for the Air Force Band. In this position, the composer learned to write, orchestrate and perform in the idiom and style of the concert band.