Band Music by Alton Augustus Adams

Alton Augustus Adams, Sr. (1889–1987) was the first African American bandmaster in the United States Navy, becoming a midshipman in 1917 when the Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark. Adams was an piccolo and flutist, a pioneering music educator, an influential writer, and a composer. The bands of both John Philip Sousa and Edwin Franko Goldman performed his music and he made a triumphant tour of the Eastern U.S. with his all-African American naval ensemble in 1924.

Portrait of Alton Augustus Adams
Portrait of Alton Augustus Adams, Sr. (1922)

Two of his musical works have entered the Public Domain and can be shared here. For free access to the full performance parts, email claguem@umich.edu.

  1. The Virgin Islands March (1919)—full score (pdf)
  1. The Governor’s Own (1921)—full score (pdf)
Brass Quintet arrangement of “The Governor’s Own”