The mission of the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast is to provide music to military and civilian communities in order to instill patriotism, maintain tradition, represent the militia heritage at its finest, and to promote pride in oneself, one's unit, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Air National Guard Band of the Northeast was originally formed on August 2, 1942 in Rapid City, South Dakota as the 53rd Army Air Forces Band. Federal recognition was extended on April 21, 1949. The succeeding years saw numerous name changes and reassignments: the 553rd Army Band, 553rd Army Air Forces Band, 53rd Wing Band, and most recently the 553rd Air Force Band, Pennsylvania Air National Guard. On June 8, 2000, the band became known as the "Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic," reflecting its expanded geographic area of responsibility for support in five states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, western New York and New Jersey.
Effective October 1, 2013, the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic officially changed its designator to the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast. This change coincides with an expanded area of responsibility which includes 13 states in the Northeastern portion of the United States. The expanded area of responsibility will offer many great performance opportunities in new areas of the country, allowing the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast to build goodwill and foster patriotism and American spirit to military members and citizens in thousands of cities and towns across the Northeast.
A traditional Air National Guard squadron, the band consists of all National Guard members with civilian careers, who meet one weekend a month to rehearse and perform. Its ranks are filled with professional musicians, educators, students, administrators, salesmen, builders and other professionals. The band has received many awards, including the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and Pennsylvania Governor's Unit Citation.
Years of critically acclaimed performances, workshops and ceremonies have earned the Band of the Northeast a reputation as one of the finest bands in the Air National Guard. The band's annual concert tours have taken it overseas to Germany, Holland, France, the Azores, Antigua-West Indies, Norway, England and Denmark.
The Air National Guard Band of the Northeast supports the total Air Force mission in war and peace by preserving our national heritage, accomplished mainly through the professional musical it provides for official military, recruiting and community events. Like all Air National Guard bands, the Band of the Northeast is assigned the state mission of supporting regional Air National Guard units through performances in military ceremonies, by promoting recruitment and retention of Air National Guard members, and in annual public relations concert tours. As traditional guardsmen, band members can be also called upon to assist other Air and Army National Guard units with civil defense duties and disaster relief efforts.
United States Air Force and Air National Guard bands have several objectives: first, to enhance airman morale, esprit de corps, and retention; and second, to inspire patriotism, support Air Force recruiting, and encourage young men and women to serve in the military. These bands increase public awareness and understanding of the armed forces and the mission, policies, and programs of the Air Force, garnering and enhancing public trust and support. They also strengthen the reputation of the Air Force as a good neighbor, a respected professional organization charged with part of the responsibility for national security.
In performing these missions, the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast is in great demand throughout the region and around the globe. Recent years have found the band playing to capacity audiences in major venues throughout the eastern United States and in such distant places as Europe and the Caribbean. A recent deployment included performing for our troops in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan. The band's annual concert tours have included performances at New York's Chautauqua Institution, Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. Additionally, the band has been a centerpiece of civic events such as the Governor's inauguration; conductor training workshops, clinics for young musicians; recruiting tours in schools and universities, and large parades such as the Philadelphia Independence Day Celebration Parade.
The band performs as a concert band, ceremonial band, "High Altitude" Popular Music Ensemble, "Flightline Brass" New Orleans Style Brass Band, "Brass in Blue" brass quintet, "In Flight" woodwind quintet, trombone quartet, and a jazz/popular combo group.
U.S. Air Force | Air National Guard | Air Force Bands Program | 193rd Special Operations Wing
ANG Band of the Northeast
(553rd Air Force Band)
1-505 Adams St
Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA 17003
Phone (717) 861-1109