Annotation / Notes: Through Army records, the pages of the Afro American, and interviews with musicians who worked and studied with Alfred Jack Thomas, Jones brings to life the world of the classically trained African-American musician during segregation. One of the first Black bandmasters in the U.S. Army, composer, and conductor (the first Black conductor to lead the all-white Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) A. Jack Thomas was a major force in Maryland's African-American musical community from World War I until his retirement in 1955. Thomas, an outstanding athlete who attended college on a boxing scholarship, rode with the 10th U.S. Cavalry in the American West and served under General John J. Pershing during his campaign to put down the revolutionary forces under Pancho Villa. In 1921 Thomas fought to establish the first Black municipal band in Baltimore and became its conductor. He chaired the Music Department at Morgan College and was a member of the faculty of Howard University.