Two of the Academy’s most visible and iconic groups are the West Point Band and the Cadet Glee Club. Established in 1817, the West Point Band is the Army’s oldest band and the oldest continuously operating unit at West Point, tracing its lineage to the field musicians assigned by George Washington when he established the post in 1778. And for more than 100 years, the Cadet Glee Club has served as a strategic messaging arm of West Point, bringing the Academy to communities throughout the nation. Now their home at West Point is getting the attention it needs to fully support these two important West Point groups.
Built in 1932, Egner Hall originally included rehearsal rooms, barracks, and a Mess Hall to support the West Point Band. It was named in honor of Philip Egner, Teacher of Music from 1909 to 1934. Today, it is home to the West Point Band as well as the Cadet Glee Club. Thanks to two extraordinary gifts from Marcia H. Randall, widow of Robert D. Randall, Class of 1956, and Peter Krause, Class of 1967, the building will undergo a significant renovation.
The Egner Hall Renovation Project will upgrade the Glee Club’s rehearsal space into a state-of-the-art permanent home base for the Club. A digital acoustic system will significantly improve practice conditions to expedite learning, improve team skills, and reinforce individual technique. Installing recording capability in the Glee Club room will increase public outreach through more frequent recording and will enable them to capture organic, acoustic performance. An audio-visual installation will connect with the West Point Band audio tech studio, allowing for interaction with guest artists and presenters, commissioned composers, and viewing performances of other groups.
Centralized HVAC will provide consistent temperature and relative humidity for the care of equipment, library, and archives, as well as cadets and staff at work. Facility improvements will benefit other performing cadet support clubs, such as the Spirit Band, String Ensemble, and Rock Band, with adequate temperature-controlled storage for expensive instruments, climate-controlled rehearsal spaces, and more functional use of existing space through design improvements.
“The Hellcats got us up every morning! To me, the Band represents West Point and the Army,” says Krause who is naming the West Point Band rehearsal space for his mother, a music lover who would often remark, “no one plays the Star-Spangled Banner like the West Point Band.” For Marcia H. Randall, she knows that living up to the Cadet Glee Club’s motto, “No fun without music, no music without fun!” would not be possible without the support of private philanthropy. She has continued her late husband’s commitment to the Academy over the years through her support of the Cadet Glee Club and most recently with her extraordinary lead gift for the Egner Hall project. Robert D. Randall’s generosity to his alma mater can be seen across post—from Randall Hall to the Class of 1956 Walkway, which connects to the Holleder Center (named for Randall’s classmate DonaldW. Holleder).
“As members of the West Point Band, we get to enjoy a longevity that is uncommon in today’s Army. We get to know the cadets in the various musical clubs and also in the classroom, only to have them come back as captains, majors, colonels, and sometimes department heads and deans. As the only Special Band stationed at the preeminent leadership development institution, we are constantly adapting our organization to the needs of the Academy and the Army. For over 200 years we have shared public and private moments around Trophy Point, Camp Buckner, the various chapels, the historic cemetery, and in the classrooms of Thayer Hall. We could never truly express how grateful we are for the generosity of others who know how important well-rounded leaders of character are to our nation,” said LTC Tod Addison, Director of the West Point Band.