Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Bruce Snyder, 61, longtime leader of the VIP Dance Orchestra at Bolling Air Force Base and a former member of the Tommy Dorsey Band, died of cancer Sunday in a hospital in Monroe, N.C.

Mr. Snyder was a native of Monroe and a 1941 graduate of the University of North Carolina. He joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after graduating from college and later played saxophone with the group in the late 1940s and again in the mid-1950s.

His first four years of military service were in World War II. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. He then spent four years in civilian life. In 1950, he enlisted in the Air Force and served another four years. After two more years as a civilian, he enlisted in the Air Force a second time. He stayed until he retired in 1971.

His only assignment during his three periods of service was at Bolling Air Force Base. From 1956 to 1971, he was leader of the VIP Dance Orchestra at the Bolling Officers Club. He also was a member of the U.S. Air Force Band and played bartitone saxophone with its Airmen of Note, the Jumping Jacks and the Concert Band.

Before retiring to Monroe in 1971, he had lived in the Anacostia section of Washington and was a member of the Anacostia Masonic Lodge. Since returning to Monroe, he had played the saxophone and led his own band.

Mr. Snyder's survivors include his wife, Margaret, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Snyder Sr., all of Monroe.