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History of the Directors


About Marine Band Leadership

There have been 29 Directors of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band since its establishment on July 11, 1798. The first leader of the United States Marine Band was William Farr, who is listed in historical records as having served as Drum Major from Jan. 21, 1799. Although the Marine Band had both a Drum Major and a Fife Major during its early history, the Drum Major was considered the overall leader of the band.

After the retirement of Drum Major Raphael Triay in 1855, then-Fife Major Francis Scala assumed leadership of the Marine Band. An Act of Congress signed July 25, 1861, abolished the rank of fife major and created the positions of “Leader of the Band/Principal Musician” and “Drum Major.” Francis Scala was the first Marine Band musician to receive the title, “Leader of the Band.”

The titles of First and Second Leader were changed around 1956 during the leadership of Albert F. Schoepper.


List of Directors