VBF 2019 Band Profiles: USA Bands

1st Brigade Band (WI)

The 1st Brigade Band of Wisconsin performs period brass band music from the 1860s on antique instruments, dressed in period clothing. They first began in 1864 when the Brodhead Brass Band enlisted in the Union Army as the band of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps. Upon leaving Wisconsin, they participated in William T. Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea” to Georgia and the Carolinas. In 2009, the 1st Brigade Band was awarded the Rueben Gold Thwaites Trophy for Local History for collecting and preserving history and sharing it with the public. The band leader is Doug Condon. The 1st Brigade Band has appeared at Vintage Band Festival in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

1st Brigade Band

1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band (NE)

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band recreates Nebraska’s original Civil War band of 1861-1862. The band performs authentic musical arrangements taken from Civil War regimental band books. Their program contains patriotic songs of both the North and the South, popular songs of the day, and opera excerpts. Many of the musicians hold music degrees, and several are retired military musicians and public school band directors. The band regularly performs at Civil War events, community festivals, and patriotic observances in Nebraska and Western Iowa. The band leader of the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band is William Hall. This is their first appearance at Vintage Band Festival.

1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band

Imperial Cornet Band (MD)

  The Imperial Cornet Band performs music of the World War I era, including pieces by Sousa, Irving Berlin and others, as well as selections written and performed by James Reese Europe of the 369th Infantry Regimental Band, the “Hellfighters.”  They will perform a program commemorating the centennial of the end of World War I. Their programs give audiences a chance to hear what this music sounded like performed by a small regimental band and gain insight on how music was used to further the war effort at home and on the battlefield. The Imperial Cornet Band performs under the auspices of the Maryland Military Band and is conducted by Jari Villanueva. Mr. Villanueva and several other musicians in the band have played at Vintage Band Festival in the past as members of the Federal City Brass Band or the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band.

Imperial Cornet Band (photo credit: Rob Mesite Photography)

Independent Silver Band (IL)

  In 1884 to 1889 the prosperous and energetic Illinois community of Mt. Vernon enjoyed the music of its own Independent Silver Band. In July, 2004, the music of the Independent Silver Band came to life once more. It is composed of 10 local men, all of whom attended the same church and Sunday school. By bringing together interested brass players and percussionists from Mt. Vernon and surrounding cities and towns in southern Illinois, the Independent Silver Band is composed of the proper team of dedicated persons, all of whom shared the vision to give audiences the chance to hear the music of a bygone time. The band leader of Independent Silver Band is William Reynolds.

Indpendent Silver Band

Kentucky Baroque Trumpets (KY)

  Don Johnson was inspired to play the baroque trumpet, also known as the natural trumpet, in 2004 after attending the Historic Brass Society Festival. He introduced his friends to the instrument, and they formed a group dedicated to re-creating its sounds and styles, including signal calls, cavalry music, dance music, duets, solo music and trumpet with voice, which requires playing in different styles and tone colors. The band members also play modern instruments, and they dedicate part of their performance to educating the audience about the difference between the two types. The band’s Civil War band incarnation, President Lincoln’s Own, performed live in Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln and was selected to be in the National Geographic movie Killing Lincoln. Kentucky Baroque Trumpets has appeared at Vintage Band Festival in 2013 and 2016. The band is currently led by Don Johnson Jr.

Kentucky Baroque Trumpets

Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band (FL)

  The musicians of Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band are dedicated professional and semi-professional brass, reed, and percussion players whose performance is as close to that of a late 19th-century professional touring band as is possible today. Like bands from that era, the group ranges from six players to a full ensemble of 30. It usually tours with 17 reed, brass and percussion players. The band plays only music that would have been heard between the end of the Civil War and the advent of the Sousa Band in 1892, primarily dance music. Concerts feature the most popular examples of polkas, waltzes, quicksteps, schottisches and mazurkas, as well as the march. The band is conducted by Elisa Koehler and managed by Michael O’Connor.

Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band

Territorial Brass: Arizona’s Official Historical Brass Band (AZ)

Territorial Brass was formed in February 1987 and was quickly recognized by museums across Arizona as an entertaining living history resource. Dressed in turn-of-the-century costumes, Territorial Brass captures the golden age of the American town band. This twelve-member ensemble specializes in 19th century American brass band music, playing authentic arrangements from 1835, through the Civil War, to Arizona’s year of statehood. It is the goal of Territorial Brass to replicate the brass bands that were active in Arizona and New Mexico during the territorial period. This is the first time that Territorial Brass has performed at Vintage Band Festival.

Territorial Brass