Col. Jim Keene

Col. Jim R. Keene became the commander of the United States Army Field Band in January 2015. Before this assignment, he served as commander of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York; commandant of the Army School of Music at Norfolk, Virginia, and at the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Army Ground Forces Band in Atlanta.

Keene has led many performances for international military and civilian leaders, dignitaries and heads of state. During his time as commander of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, he led performances for the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, co-directed the music for A&E’s and the National Park Service’s “A New Birth of Freedom” special for the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg and a one-hour music special holiday production by the West Point Band. which aired on Fox News, “A West Point Holiday.” Keene led the U.S. Army Chorus in performances at the interments of former Presidents Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley, California, and Gerald R. Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He has performed for seven U.S. presidents, at the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Atlanta, the dedication of the National WWII Memorial, the one-year anniversary of 9/11 at the Pentagon, the "Kennedy Center Honors” and the Military District of Washington’s production “Spirit of America.” He has worked with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Chorus and the National Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Boston Pops Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Before joining the Army, Keene served as assistant conductor of the Southern Methodist University Symphony, orchestra conductor at the SMU International Conservatory Summer Festival in Taos, New Mexico, and music director of the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera. He holds a master of music degree in orchestral conducting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the University of New Mexico. He is a violinist, fiddler, pianist, accompanist and songwriter, and is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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