BIG CAMP SING

WWI and the Singing Army

In the lead up to WWI, the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, expressed a desire to create wholesome environments within the many training camps established to prepare draftees for the War to End All Wars. To this end, he created the Commission on Training Camp Activities, led by Raymond B. Fosdick. Fosdick conceived the idea of a “singing Army” and created a Camp Music Division.

Every camp had a song leader, typically a noted musician within the nearby community, and singing became regular camp activity, not only for the sake of morale but also physical health.

Download a pdf of “Singing in the Camps.”

Also read, “The Singing Program of World War I: The Crusade for a Singing Army” (requires registering with JSTOR)

From E. Christina Chang’s “The Singing Program of World War I: The Crusade for a Singing Army” in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Oct 2001: XXIII:1

Join us for a reenactment of a Big Camp Sing.

KANSAS CITY 2018

Memorial Day Weekend
KC Symphony’s Celebration at the Station

Stay tuned for additional information.

As a part of the WETU Project, HMC is partnering with the Kansas City Symphony and the National WWI Museum and Memorial to reenact a Big Camp Sing.