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"Guns Up!" - a march composed by former 3AD Bandmaster Charles Booker
in 1996, and based on the original 3AD March from World War II

Requires Broadband Connection

Above: "Guns Up!" arranger/composer Warrant Officer Charles Booker in his Army days. He is currently Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.



In 1980, while Charles Booker served as Bandmaster of the 3rd Armored Division, he arranged a melody known to the soldiers as "Our Third Armored Division Song" for the use of his band. Documents indicated that the tune was written in 1944 by Private Chester F. Kowalec of the 33rd Armored Regiment, and according to surviving members of the Spearhead Division who had served during WWII, the Division Band and Choir sang the song at the last mass gathering of the troops at the close of the war. In 1996, Booker composed new material to serve as the opening of the march, placing his 1980 setting of "Our Third Division Song" in the position of honor as the march's trio.

The introduction to GUNS UP! quotes "Adjutant's Call" played by the trumpets, trombones, and euphoniums in octaves. The first strain, being more grand and lyrical, contrasts from the second strain which is more lively and vigorous. With a sudden shift of tonal center, the introduction to the Trio begins with a quote from the bugle call "To the Colors" which is often performed in place of the National Anthem. The melody of the trio is played first by the clarinets and saxophones, with the flutes, oboes, horns and trumpets joining later. A repeat of the melody, scored for the full band, features a strong bugle-like counter melody in the saxes and horns. A contrapuntal fanfare for the brass climaxes in a modulation leading to the final statement of the melody, scored in grandiose style, using the same arrangement that the military bands of today use when performing the 3rd Armored Division Song during their Pass in Review.


Charles L. Booker, Jr., is Chair of the Music Department, Associate Professor and Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. He is a composer, and former U.S. Army Bandmaster, and received his undergraduate degree from the New York University, his Masters in Conducting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and completed courses for Texas teacher certification in secondary music from Texas State University. His compositions are published by Alfred, Kendor, Bravo Music, and Southern Music Company.

Mr. Booker's career in the U.S. Army included service as an arranger for the Army Field Band, performer and conductor of Army Bands in Louisiana, Germany, New York City, and director of the Jazz Ambassadors in Washington, D.C. As a trumpeter with the Fifth Army Band, Mr. Booker performed for the funerals of Presidents Truman and Johnson. In 1981, as the conductor of the 3rd Armored Division Band in Germany, Mr. Booker participated at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in the welcoming ceremonies for the returning American hostages from Iran. In New York City, he conducted the Army Band of New York City at ceremonies for heads of state of the United States, Germany, France, Netherlands, Portugal and China, and his band performed at the centennial activities of the Statue of Liberty.

While as an associate conductor of the Army Field Band, Mr. Booker performed in the inauguration parades of Presidents George H. W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton. He was Interim Director of Bands at Trinity University from 1996 to 1997 and assistant editor at Southern Music Company from 1994 to 1997. In 1999, Mr. Booker was appointed Director of Band Activities at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, and in 2004, he was appointed Chair of the Music Department.

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