Pathways

Pathways

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Pathways was composed in January and February of 2010 and was commissioned by the 106th Army Band, Arkansas National Guard, in honor of Command Sergeant Major Thomas L. Walker who served the people of the State of Arkansas from August 1972 until his retirement in February of 2010.

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Pathways was composed in January and February of 2010 and was commissioned by the 106th Army Band, Arkansas National Guard, in honor of Command Sergeant Major Thomas L. Walker who served the people of the State of Arkansas from August 1972 until his retirement in February of 2010. After graduating from Arkansas State University with a music education degree, Tommy began his National Guard career with the 875th Engineers in Marked Tree, Arkansas. In January 1981, he transferred to the 106th Army band where he eventually attained the rank of First Sergeant (the highest enlisted rank in the band). He served in this position for the next 12 years and wrote several arrangements and original compositions for the band. In 2001 Walker briefly left the band to accept the position of Command Sergeant Major for the 871st Troop Command. In January 2005 Tommy let his love for music bring him back to the 106th to finish his military career.  Thomas L. Walker’s devotion to the Arkansas National Guard is unparalleled in the history of the 106th Army Band. During his National Guard career he was awarded numerous state and federal awards which include: the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 times), Arkansas Emergency Service Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal (5 times), Arkansas Distinguished Service Medal (4 times) and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

The composer conceived the work as a reflection of the many paths we choose in our lives, and CSM Walker certainly chose of the path of exemplary service to his home state of Arkansas and his nation.

The 106th Army Band was formed in 1898 and soon after was mobilized for the Spanish-American War. In World War I, the band was named the 153rd Regiment Band and served in France with the 39th Division. During World War II, the band served in Seward, Alaska and was re-designated the 106th Army Ground Forces Band. In October 1957, the 106th was ordered into active federal service during the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis. In 1993, the band led the inaugural parade for President William Jefferson Clinton in Washington, D.C. The band is under the command of Chief Warrant Officer Two Keith D. Dortch and First Sergeant Robert E. Sivils.

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