By Sgt. Dan Molineaux
Wyoming National Guard
Wyoming Army National Guard 67th Army Band first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Diane Smith and bandmaster Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Robert Phillips pose at the Wyoming Military Department's annual Governor's Reception, Oct. 13, 2012, at Little America Resort, in Cheyenne, Wyo. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Stewart Dyer)
CHEYENNE – This year the Wyoming Military Department’s Governor’s Reception served as the inaugural performance for the new bandmaster of the Wyoming Army National Guard’s 67th Army Band “Wyoming’s Own”. Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Robert Phillips directed the band in their ceremonial music, concert band and the rock band in his first performance as a member of the unit.
Phillips comes to the WyANG from the 101st Army Band, Colorado National Guard where he started his National Guard career as an instrumentalist and worked his way up the ranks to become the bandmaster. Prior to joining the Guard, Phillips served in the Marine Corps, serving as a musician from 1985 to 1989, and as a Marine Reservist from 1989 to 1991. He was an instrumentalist with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He also shot competitively for the Marine Corps rifle team.
In 1991, Philips left the Marine Corps Reserve, where he was serving as an air squadron operator, and joined the Colorado National Guard Army band as an instrumentalist playing the euphonium. He became the unit commander after earning his Warrant Officer rank at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 2001.
Phillips said he has high expectations for his time in Wyoming. “I feel very excited by the challenge of coming to Wyoming. The transition from the 101st Army Band to the 67th feels very natural, and I look forward to creating new commanders and a growth plan for the unit,” he said.
“Army bands tell the Soldiers’ story and are the perfect public affairs tool. Our business is music, I plan to advocate for the mission of Army bands in Wyoming and work hard to perform during holidays, special events and historical markers throughout the year, because Army bands fill a unique niche during these events.”
The addition of Phillips to the WyANG comes as a welcome to the Soldiers of the 67th Army Band. “I am excited for the musical leadership and experience that CW3 Phillips brings to Wyoming, the Soldier-musicians of the 67th deserve the opportunity to learn and perform at new levels of musical proficiency,“ said 1st Sgt. Diane Smith, noncommissioned officer in charge of the band.
The current commander of the 67th, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nathan Galloway, also expressed his welcome, “Chief Phillips is an exceptional Warrant Officer and the epitome of the professional bandmaster. He is the right man at the right time in the band and will move the unit forward in positive ways,” he said.
Phillips is married with two adult children and lives in Arvada, Colo. He is a music teacher at Mitchell Elementary School, in Golden, Colo., where he teaches multiple levels of music education from first through sixth grade, as well as several after school musical groups. He is the co-director of the Jefferson County community band and is a member of the Jeffco Brass, a musical group that performs numerous concerts in the Denver metropolitan area.