Colonel Gary F. Lamb was the seventh commander and conductor of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. He assumed command during a ceremony in Conmy Hall on historic Fort Myer, Virginia, on April 3, 2000.
A native of Hardin, Montana, Colonel Lamb graduated high school in Alliance, Nebraska. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1971 and a Master of Music degree in performance in 1976. In 1991, Colonel Lamb earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
From 1967 to 1969 Colonel Lamb served an enlisted tour in the Quartermaster Corps of the Army culminating with an assignment in Seoul, Korea. Prior to returning to the Army, he was a public school teacher of choral music in the middle and high schools of McCook, Nebraska; sang leading roles as an operatic tenor; and served as Musical Director of the Nebraska Repertory Theater in Lincoln. In 1976 he auditioned for the Army’s Band Officer program and was selected as the Training Officer at the Army Element School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia.
In 1978, Colonel Lamb assumed command of the Army Ground Forces Band at U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1980, he served as Director of the Soldier’s Chorus at the U.S. Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland, for four years. Next, he served as the Staff Bands Officer for the U.S. Army Europe, followed by an assignment as Executive Officer at the U.S. Army, Europe, Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany.
Colonel Lamb became the director of The Army Chorale at The U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C. in 1986. In 1987 he became the director or The Army Chorus, a position he held for eight years. During this time, he conducted performances for Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. He took the Amy Chorus to Turkey on its first overseas tour and, with that group, conducted the Les Brown Band of Renown at a Bob Hope Gala in California. He also directed The Chorus and members of the National Symphony Orchestra for the annual Victory Award Celebration at the Kennedy Center.
In 1995, Colonel Lamb returned to Heidelberg, Germany, as commander of the U.S. Army, Europe, Band and Chorus performing in 13 European countries. These included performances at the Royal Tournament at Earls Court in London and performances for the deployed troops in Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. During that time his unit received the Army Superior Unit Award. In May of 1998, he took the band to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the Third International Festival of Bands.
His next assignment was to the Department of Army Staff Bands Office in Washington, D.C. which he held for two years. While in that assignment, in December of 1998, he traveled to Moscow, Russia, to conduct the Ministry of Defense Orchestra of the Federation of Russia, the first U.S. military band officer invited to do so. In 2000 he returned to Fort Myer to become the commander of the Army’s premier musical organization.
Colonel Lamb has performed at numerous international, national, and state events including the Brisbane (Australia) international Festival and Tattoo; deployed troops in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan; the Association of Concert Bands; the Texas Bandmasters Association convention; the American Bandmasters Association convention; and has conducted the Queensland Pops Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Colonel Lamb has led “Pershing’s Own” for both inaugural parades of President George W. Bush and for the State Funeral of President Reagan. His other professional experiences include being a clinician, conducting honor bands and adjudicating music festivals and contests.
In March 2001, Colonel Lamb was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the professional association of master conductors and musicians. Membership is considered the highest honor achievable by American bandsmen; it recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of concert bands.
Colonel Lamb is a graduate of the Army War College. His military awards and decorations include two Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, a NATO Medal, and others. He is married to the former Alida K. Norskov.
On June 13, 2005, Colonel Lamb retired from active duty service.