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To Leopold Stokowski
November 25, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Dr. Stokowski:
I enjoyed very much your brief visit with me yesterday afternoon with Mr. Williams, and have thought over the several suggestions you made.1
In the first place, your most generous offer to make some appearances with your All American Youth Orchestra in the camps this winter, will be most gratefully received. It is merely a matter of finding out when and where you might coordinate such departures from your schedule. If you will give us an outline of your winter tour, I can have suggestions submitted as to the largest troop concentrations where you might conveniently appear. Such a contribution as yours should be a tremendous inspiration to Army personnel who would have the rare opportunity of seeing you and hearing your orchestra.
I am enclosing a statement of the instrumentation of Army bands, together with the recently recommended increase, and I would like very much to have your suggestions in this matter, which you offered to give me yesterday.
There is also attached the locations of the various replacement centers, for which training bands are to be organized. Please look over this and let me have your suggestions as to the best point for the development of a band under your supervision, both as to type of band, and as to possible basis for the development of band leaders and principal musicians.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. In 1940 Stokowski, who was best known as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, had formed an All-American Youth Orchestra, composed of young musicians from each state, and had toured South America. At this time Stokowski was planning a lengthy tour in the United States and Canada for the spring and summer of 1941; he proposed to bring the youth orchestra to army camps near his tour cities. Aubrey W. Williams was administrator of the National Youth Administration.
2. In reply, Stokowski outlined his ideas for improving the army’s bands, including reinstrumentation, creation of a demonstration band, schools for band leaders and principal musicians, and modernized orchestrations. “I believe a new type of band can be developed that in some ways will be more suited to open air playing, for standing still, for marching, and for men mounted on horses. With some variations and additions we could develop a kind of band that could play from armored cars while in motion or standing still. These could be very effective in motion for adding cheerfulness and morale to the troops while on long-distance, forced marches, if that is desired.” (Stokowski to Marshall, November 28, 1940, GCMRL/ G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) For further information on Stokowski’s ideas, see Marshall to Holtz, February 14, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-371 [2: 423-24].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 354-355.