Band Music by Alton Augustus Adams

Portrait of Alton Augustus AdamsAlton 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.

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

Brass Quintet arrangement of “The Governor’s Own”