Military bands offer free online performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can help Veterans through this difficult time.

“Music therapy is the evidence-based use of music for a therapeutic purpose,” said Alison Whitehead, acting director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. “It can help promote relaxation, reduce depression and anxiety, and even help with pain management.”

Whether it’s a Sousa march or Star Wars theme music, each of the five military bands has performances both live and taped.

Army Band “Pershing’s Own”

The Army Band aims to bring people together virtually through United We Stand | Music to Connect Us.

The band offers performances Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on their website at There’s a harp and violin concert April 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern and a trombone performance called “From Bach to Breakfast” at 4 p.m. Eastern May 1. The live performances are at

Swamp Romp and members of The United States Army Band Downrange recently played a tribute to American singer-songwriter and musician Bill Withers, a Navy Veteran.

Marine Band “The President’s Own”

Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. The Marine Band offers at home performances and instruction on their Facebook page at

“The Commandant’s Own,” The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, created a first ever mass online collaboration, the “Digital Drumline Project.” The end of the video shows 900+ videos of drummers playing in unison from all over the world.

Navy Band

A 2019 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the Navy Band has online watch parties on their Facebook page at

The band offers a mix of their favorite past performances and new works, including #ReachOutWednesday. The videos encourage people to pick up the phone, call someone, and brighten their day.

The Country Current bluegrass ensemble recently played “Cherokee Shuffle” to brighten the spirits of viewers.

Air Force Band

In a tribute to first responders, nurses, doctors, and everyone serving communities during the pandemic, the Air Force Band created a virtual performance of “God Bless America.”

The Air Force Band also started a Duet Initiative, where band members play alongside children from across the country. In the most recent post, a fourth grade clarinet player named Lily from Torrington, Conn., joined Master Sgt. Laura Shoun from the Air Force Concert Band. They played “America the Beautiful.”

They offer performances on their Facebook page at

Coast Guard Band

The Coast Guard Band offers a livestream rebroadcast of “May the Fourth Be With You,” in honor of Star Wars day. The concert will include the main title from Star Wars and Imperial March by Air Force Veteran John Williams. The band will also play Americans We by Henry Fillmore, Legacy (oboe concerto) by Oscar Navarro, El Camino Real by Alfred Reed and the Armed Forces Medley.

The event is 7 p.m. May 4 on their Facebook page at

The band has past performance videos at The recently played a virtual concert of Mozart’s Andante from Serenede for Winds.

Music therapy and VA

In addition to military bands, VA offered this 17-minute and 30-second virtual Music and Movement Group from the VA Central Iowa Health Care System.

By Air Force Veteran Adam Stump is a member of VA's Digital Media Engagement team.

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Published on Apr. 29, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.9 min.

Views to date: 693


  1. Jim Fogle May 7, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you Adam Stump for collecting and posting the links. I found the Navy Bluegrass Band online performance of Cherokee Shuffle very entertaining. I also enjoyed the music therapy video produced by the VA Central Iowa Health Care System.

  2. Donna Medek May 7, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for putting this information out. It was just what I needed this morning to start my day off right. The song “Don’t save it all for Christmas” by MSG Christal Rheams truly touch my heart. She sung it so beautifully!

    • Gen Patton May 7, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      LOL typical govt promotion, Kind of like that plane ride home expecting it to be there. Ohh well May 7th notification for an April27th concert…

      • Danny J Brion May 12, 2020 at 5:41 pm

        There is always someone who has to complain. So what if it is posting now. If ya don’t like web page leave. No one is forcing you to look. Many thanks to all of the Musicians with their music…

  3. James Hileman May 7, 2020 at 6:47 am

    too bad the notice about these concerts was received on may 7 AFTER they were over.

  4. Bill Adcock May 7, 2020 at 5:54 am

    Interesting, nice variety and included all of us…USAF, COAST GUARD. ARMY, NAVY, USMC. “Domo ara gotto.” (sp) Japanese for Thank you VERY much. Shalom, BIll A (ret S/sgt, USAF)

  5. Ron Bailey May 7, 2020 at 12:31 am

    This would be more valuable if it were timely . On 6 May when this blog was disseminated, It featured April and May events that had passed.

  6. Vanessa Birdsey May 6, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    A wonderful gift. Thank you and thanks to all those talented musicians.

  7. Sarah Schram-Borg May 6, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    You forgot “We Stand Ready” – a daily virtual concert series by The U.S. Army Field Band, another of the Premiere Military Band based in Washington, D.C. You can watch Sun-Thurs at 1300 Eastern time, Fri-Sat at 1900 at or Their programming is a mix of classical, patriotic, country, jazz, vocal, pop – truly something for everyone. Since they began streaming on 20 MAR, these performances have reached over 10 million viewers, worldwide. While following physical distancing protocols for COVID-19, they are performing live music in order to bring hope, inspiration, and calm to Americans while honoring the service of Veterans and their families.

  8. Debra Koleski May 6, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I so very much enjoyed listening to the
    Music from all branches of of the
    Military. It was such a blessing. I served in the army from 1974- 1977 and very proud to be a
    Veteran. God bless our country!

  9. Jason Jennings May 6, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    As a veteran and musician, I have started a band. Most of my originals are about perseverance and fighting through adversity. I’d like to get our sound out to more veterans. Is this a program that could assist with this?

  10. Robert m cape May 6, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks I enjoyed.

  11. Robert Castro May 6, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    A live online performance of the Marine 8th & I Evening Parade and the Iwo Jima Memorial performance would be fantastic!!

  12. Susan May 6, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks for the chair exercises to music—I can use this everyday

Comments are closed.

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