Retired Army Col. Samuel R. Lobaoda, 61, former leader of the U.S. Army band and composer and arranger of more than 600 scores, died Monday at his home in Oakton, Va., after a heart attack.
He was leader of the band, known as "Pershing's Own," from 1964 until retiring from the Army in 1976, when he was named conductor emeritus.
Prior to that, Col. Lododa had served for 18 years as executive officer and assistant leader of the band. He organized a chorus of Army bandsmen, which became a separate unit, the U.S. Army Chorus.
Born in Homer City, Pa., he was a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Army as an infantryman in 1941 and was decorated forhis innovations in combat and intelligance equipment.
Col. Loboda then entered the Army Music School in Washington, where he graduated in 1943, and became the school's executive director. He saw duty in the Philippines and Japan in the latter years of the war.
While serving with the Army Band, he composed the official marches for Kiwanis International and the American Legion, "The Broadcaster's March" for the National Association of Broadcasters, the 101st Airborne Division's "Screaming Eagles March" and "The Medal of Honor March."
Col. Loboda composed the film score for "O'er the Ramparts We Watch," the story of the National Anthem prepared for the Maryland pavilion at the 1965 New York World's Fair.
His Christmas drama, "Night of the Miracle," performed by the U.S. Army Band and Chorus and presented on television, won two Emmy awards in the 1960s.
In 1965, Col. Loboda was elected president of the American Bandmasters Association. He received the Army's Legion of Merit and the National Recognition Award of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
He is survived by his wife, Agnes, of the home; a brother, Andrew S., of Detroit, and a sister, Mary Ann Loboda, of New Jersey.