Training

Being a military musician offers you real world opportunities for training in all aspects of the Army. After completing the 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, and the 10 week Advanced Individual Training at the Army School of Music, any soldier can enroll in training ranging from leadership courses like the Warrior Leadership Courses to Air Assault School.

You have access to it all!

When employers see the National Guard on your resume, they’ll know that they can count on you.

For information about some of the many Military Benefits, Audition Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

Education

Do you have student loans? The National Guard has generous student loan repayment plans.

Do you want to go back to school for an advanced degree? The National Guard has financial aid programs that cover tuition and expenses for one professional degree beyond a Bachelors Degree. Our Educational support center can answer questions and guide you through the process.

Are you still in high school and planning on going to college? There is access to SAT and ACT preparation courses to help you get the best scores possible, and still have access to educational benefits.

Wherever you are in your goal for a higher education, the Oregon Army National Guard can help pave the way. We even have programs to educate your spouse.

For information about some of the many Military Benefits, Audition Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

Mission

To provide music throughout the full spectrum of military operations to instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad.

VISION

To be effectively structured organizations of highly trained, professional Soldiers, instilled with the Warrior Ethos, supporting the full range of military operations.  Through music, bands will inspire military forces, strengthen national pride, and promote peace and goodwill.

VALUES

 

B ELIEF:  Know that our role in the Army is Vital.
A RTISTIC INTEGRITY:  Strive for perfection in each performance.
N ATIONAL PRIDE: Preserve our nation’s traditions.
D EDICATION:  Serve others through music.

Openings

Although we are always welcoming and on the lookout for new talent we are currently actively seeking musicians to fill the following openings:

  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Piano

Other positions depending on skill level

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About Us

The 234 Army Band, nicknamed “Oregon’s Own”, is the Oregon National Guard’s ambassadors to the State of Oregon. Organized in 1919, the band has seen duty in the Pacific during WWII and was awarded several citations including the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for service from October 17, 1944 to July 4, 1945.

To describe the 234th Army Band, there are two words – versatile and professional.

Versatile in the sense of the ability to perform in a military setting on one occasion and conduct a performance to a civilian audience on another

Professional describes their approach to concerts, clinics and performances. They tailor their performance to each audience, incorporating a unique ability to select music that will educate and entertain the audience to the fullest extent.

Based in Portland, the 234th Army Band performs an average of 80 military and public musical missions each year. In 2011, the band was acknowledged by the Army as the nations “busiest band” and was the second busiest in 2012.

The 234th Army Band has grasped the Army’s concept of the “Musical Performance Team” and developed several ensembles to meet the varied musical missions that come up.

Because of their multi-talented members, they have created unique opportunties to celebrate the great State of Oregon, the National Guard, and the tireless efforts of the United States Army.

The band has had the opportunity to perform with such notable performers as the Charlie Daniels Band, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, Barbara Mandrell, Doc Severinsen and Reba McEntire.

In 2009 the 234th Army Band worked in collaboration with Portland’s popular music ensemble, Pink Martini, to celebrate Oregon’s Statehood by presenting “Oregon! Oregon!: A Sesquicentennial Fable in Four Acts.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I have to go to basic training in order to join the band? Every musician first goes to at least 10 weeks of basic training and 10 weeks at the Army School of Music.

Do I have to provide my own instrument? No, the Army purchases professional quality instruments for each player?

Will the band deploy? The 234th Army Band has not deployed into a combat zone since WWII, but there have bands deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. They are primarily Active Duty bands that are there to provide music for our troops.

Do I have to audition? Yes, an audition must be passed before you are qualified to enlist in any Army Band. Auditions vary by instrument.

What rank and pay do I start out at? In the band you enter as a specialist (SPC/E-4).

For information about some of the many Military Benefits, Audition Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

Service

Military Bands play a unique role in the American Military.

They serve in a ceremonial capacity preserving the rich heritage and traditions associated with military service. Bands provide a protocol function playing for presidents, governors and heads of state around the world.

They perform a community relations mission, fostering patriotism and support for our troops. Bands are used to support local recruiting efforts.

Most importantly though, Military Bands perform a morale mission for the troops who are stepping up to answer the call of duty, at home and around the world.

The 234th Army Band regularly meets each of these missions as they perform at dozens of events each year. The citizen soldiers of the 234th are committed to serving the Armed Services and the citizen’s of Oregon.

The are truly “Oregon’s Own”!

For information about some of the many Military Benefits, Audition Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions please click here.

Ensembles

Ceremonial/Marching Band: The Ceremonial Band is a very versatile 40 piece ensemble and performs for a great variety of events from official military functions and sporting events to public festivals and parades.

Concert Band: The Concert Band is our formal sit down ensemble. This 40 piece ensemble also performs for official military functions, pops concerts, and public holiday events.

Brass Ops: This “Louisiana Style” brass band, is a fun, sometimes goofy ensemble, that is interested in telling the Army story through high energy music that is soulful, jazzy and funky.

General Dischord: This ensemble, although populated with wind instruments that are not generally thought of in popular music, has developed an eclectic mix of music that can fit in any setting from military ceremonial music, swing, pop, country and even classical.

Article 15: This ensemble features vocals and instruments playing a variety of music including country, swing and rock. Perfect for a fun afternoon!

Command Team

Commander: CW2 Ashley Alexander serves as the Commander and Conductor of the Oregon National Guard’s, 234th Army Band.

Mr. Alexander joined the 234th Army Band in 2002 as a bassonist and was featured as a soloist with the band, performing the Portland Premier of Concerto for Basson and Wind Ensemble by Eric Ewazen in April 2004. Mr. Alexander also served as the Unit Supply Non-commisioned Officer until commissioned as a Warrant Officer in August, 2007. Mr. Alexander deployed to New Orleans with six other members of the Band in support of Operation Katrina, temporarily being appointed as the Battalion Supply NCO for the 41st Troop Battalion. Mr. Alexander is the seventh Commander of the 234th Army Band since their activation in 1919. In August 2009, Mr. Alexander conducted “Oregon! Oregon!” in collaboration with Pink Martini, Portland’s popular music ensemble. Mr. Alexander graduated from DePaul University in 2009 with a Master of Music in Performance. In December 2008, Mr. Alexander married his wife, Erin Rose. Mr. Alexander has received three Army Achievement Medals and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

First Sergeant: 1SG Preston Baxter serves as the unit’s primary Enlisted Leader and plays french horn in the 234th Army Concert Band and the “Brass Ops” Ensemble. He is often called upon to use his skills on the piano in the concert band as well.
1SG Baxter joined the 23rd Army Band in 1990 as a French horn player. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Civil Engineering from Utah State University in 1996, he transferred to Oregon’s 234th Army Band and served as the unit’s translator during the their Annual Training in Panama. He holds dual Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Wood Science from Oregon State University, is a licensed Professional Engineer in Oregon and Nevada, and is currently employed as a structural engineer with CH2MHill. 1SG Baxter’s military awards include two Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster. He resides in Independence with his wife, Aurora, and their six children.

Money

The Oregon Army National Guard offers more than just your monthly paycheck. Our wide array of bonuses and incentives can put extra money in you wallet – thousands of dollars, in fact.

For information about some of the many Military Benefits, Audition Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions please click here.