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A Band to Honor is a documentary feature film that uses a combination of archival footage, photos, and personal interviews to tell the story of 21 young naval musicians. These individuals were among the 1,177 members of the USS Arizona who lost their lives when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 

After a brief history of music in the United States Navy, the United States Navy School of Music, and the USS Arizona, the story takes us into the lives of the men chosen to form Navy Band Unit 22 (NBU-22); their journey from Norfolk, Virginia, to Honolulu, Hawaii; and the friendship they formed in between. 

A Band to Honor explores the rigorous training demanded of our aspiring navy musicians and explores several band members' lives, including that of the unit's bandmaster, Frederick Kinney. We investigate the band members' life aboard ship, their training, and the musical pleasures they provided to their fellow shipmates. 

In the summer of 1941, the politics of the world put the United States on the road to war, and the USS Arizona and her band arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where the band members fell into the routine of being both navy musicians and sailors. There, we examine life for the boys of NBU-22 on the island of Oahu. 

An overview of the United States Navy Fleet Recreation musical program, The Battle of Music (a contest between 18 military bands stationed at Pearl Harbor), is delivered, and the details of the last night of the competition—December 6, 1941—is provided by eyewitness accounts of two of the event's participants. 

As the day of infamy, December 7, 1941, arrives, an incredible account of the attack on Pearl Harbor is offered with an extraordinary animation sequence and the eyewitness testimony of three Pearl Harbor survivors, two of which were crewmembers of the USS Arizona. The tragic final few minutes of the band are detailed, clearing up the many misconceptions about the fate of the USS Arizona Band.  

  • Year
  • Runtime
    1 hour 17 minutes 4 seconds
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Warren Hull
  • Screenwriter
    Annette Hull, Warren Hull
  • Producer
    Annette Hull, Warren Hull
  • Co-Producer
    Chelsea Nevens, RJ Nevens, Jr.
  • Cast
    Michael Bayes, Louis A. Conter, Francis Emond, Marynelle Evans, Ruth Maye "Molly" Kent, Daniel Martinez, Donald G. Stratton, Pat Thompson
  • Cinematographer
    Annette Hull
  • Editor
    Warren Hull
  • Composer
    Holly Amber Church