admin's picture

CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE January 18, 2001


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that American Samoa will be represented in this year’s Presidential Inaugural ceremonies in a very special way.

While most of the nation’s attention focus on the inauguration of incoming President George W. Bush, a more private, nevertheless important event will be taking place at nearby Andrews Air Force Base as the nation pays respect to the outgoing Chief Executive as he officially departs from the nation’s capital.

Leading one of our nation’s most prestigious military bands in the Official Departure Ceremony for outgoing President Bill Clinton will be William Gabbard, a Samoan who has served with the United States Army Field Band of Washington DC for over thirteen years.

Sergeant First Class William Gabbard is the sixth of seven children born to the late Benjamin H. Gabbard, Jr., and Agnes Gabbard, who currently reside in the village of Leloaloa. He was graduated first in his class from Samoana High School in 1977, and was awarded an American Samoa government academic scholarship. He attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he was a double major in Music (Vocal Performance) and History. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in June of 1981.

Gabbard continued his studies in vocal music at the University of Iowa, where he was a frequent soloist with University choral groups and with the University Opera Theatre. He received his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Iowa, and later served on the voice faculty of The University of Nebraska-Omaha. He continued to appear frequently as a soloist with choral groups, orchestras and opera companies throughout the South and Midwest during his teaching career.

In 1987, Gabbard was invited to audition for a position with the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band, Washington, D.C. Known as "The Musical Ambassadors of the Army," the Field Band serves as the Army’s official touring musical organization, appearing all over the nation performing concerts on behalf of the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Department of the Army. The Soldiers’ Chorus is one of the most prestigious vocal groups in the country, and one of only four full-time professional military choral groups in the Department of Defense. After completing his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Gabbard reported to the Field Band in the fall of 1987.

In his thirteen years with the Field Band, SFC Gabbard has traveled to 49 of the 50 states. He looks forward to visiting his 50th state, Alaska, when the Field Band travels there in September 2001. In addition to his duties with the Soldiers’ Chorus, Gabbard also serves as the Concert Band Narrator. In this capacity, he serves as Master of Ceremonies for almost 100 concerts a year nationwide. As Drum Major, he recently led the Field Band at the Norwegian Military Tattoo in Oslo, Norway, representing the United States in a performance with thirteen other musical groups from nine nations.

With the Soldiers’ Chorus, Gabbard has appeared on several nationally televised programs, including: "Bob Hope’s 90th Birthday" special on NBC-TV; "Pops Goes the Fourth," with Maestro Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, broadcast on the A&E network; "Fourth of July from the Heartland," with Maestro Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, seen on PBS-TV; two "National Memorial Day on the Mall" concerts on PBS; and the nationally syndicated "Coral Ridge Hour," from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment