Band Conductor of United States Air Force Band

Conductor in front of full bandJOB DESCRIPTION
Being a United States Air Force band officer is a unique career opportunity that combines world-class musicianship with military leadership. Air Force bands sustain morale, render ceremonial honors, and build relationships with domestic and international communities, all through the power of music; band officers are professionally trained conductors charged with leading that mission.

Air Force band officers are among the finest musical ambassadors of the United States of America and are responsible for leading, conducting, and producing a wide variety of events and recordings in support of the mission of the Air Force. Opportunities for musical leadership are diverse, ranging from jazz, vocal and popular ensembles, to symphonic and marching bands. Through public, internet, radio, cable, and TV performances and recordings that reach millions annually, officers lead bands to tell the Air Force story at home, overseas, and in deployed locations in support of U.S. national security objectives.

This career opportunity requires officers to interact with national, civic, military and industry leaders at home and around the world. To facilitate this, the Air Force provides training in leadership, public affairs, and the operational skills required to help officers lead professional bands and realize their honorable desire to serve the United States as a professional musician.

Why Join

Symphony-level audition procedures and rigorous standards attract “the best of the best” among America’s young artist-players; advanced study with world-renown teachers and an aggressive performance schedule further hone Air Force bandsmen into world-class professionals. 

Huge, enthusiastic audiences, thrilling concert tours, exacting recording sessions, television, and radio broadcasts foster high artistic standards and some of the “tightest” military ensembles in the world. 

Highly diverse repertoire, world-class venues, top-notch musicians, and celebrity guest artists combine to offer Air Force conductors a unique and exhilarating professional lifestyle. 

Acoustically-designed rehearsal spaces, state-of-the art office and music production workstations, outstanding musical, audio, and lighting instruments, tailored performance uniforms, excellent instrument storage and repair facilities, extensive libraries, and top-quality overland buses and trucks enable Air Force bands to function at an extremely efficient, yet highly professional level. 


When they are not performing, Air Force band members are trained in various non-musical disciplines to provide critical administrative support, such as: computer maintenance and programming, instrument repair, tour scheduling, supply, marketing, media relations, script-writing, announcing, library sciences, fiscal administration and office management. 

Air Force conductors are given numerous opportunities for professional development. Conducting workshops, independent study sessions, even advanced degrees are possible. Other opportunities include attending conferences such as the Midwest Clinic, Texas Bandmasters Association, Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association and the World Association of Concert Band and Wind Ensembles.

The competition is keen, but qualified Air Force officers are promoted and advanced to assignments of increasing responsibility. Typically, outstanding officers are promoted to Captain by their fifth year of service, to Major by their 12th, and to Lt. Colonel by their 16th. The “best of the best” may be promoted to full Colonel sometime after their twentieth year of active duty service. 

The Air Force takes care of its own. State-of-the-art military medical facilities and staff, combined with TriCare civilian specialty services assure Air Force families the best in medical care. Outstanding on-base housing, schools, fitness and recreational facilities, family support centers, worship centers, commissaries and base exchanges offer Air Force members a high standard of living at a low cost. 

Air Force retirement is an outstanding value. After twenty years of active duty, Air Force personnel become retirement eligible, earning approximately 50% of their last three years’ basic pay. 

About this entry