Attired in uniforms and gowns, the 1st Brigade Band's musicians, color guard, and costumed ladies offer a unique form of showmanship that blends the sights and sounds of the Civil War period with historical anecdotes. Concert is set for 7:15 p.m. July 31 at Buttermilk Creek Park.
The 1st Brigade Band will return for its second Buttermilk Festival performance on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:15 p.m. The free program at Buttermilk Creek Park in Fond du Lac will feature authentic brass band music performed on antique instruments.
Attired in uniforms and gowns, the band's musicians, color guard, and costumed ladies offer a unique form of showmanship that blends the sights and sounds of the Civil War period with historical anecdotes.
Organized in 1964 and based in Watertown, the 1st Brigade Band has located and restored more than 200 instruments including over-the-shoulder horns; circular, teardrop and upright brass horns; and snare drums from the Civil War era and before.
The music they will present will be selected from extant books of Union and Confederate bands, manuscripts and original sheet music of the period. Their repertoire includes, in addition to the expected martial and patriotic airs, transcriptions of operatic, orchestral and vocal literature, and a rich treasury of worship and dance music.
In 1864, 18 men from the Brodhead Brass Band enlisted in the Union Army as the Band of the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 15th Army Corps. The "Tradition of Excellence" that these men established lives on today with Wisconsin's 1st Brigade Band. More than eighty volunteers, men and women, make up the current organization. Widely varied in age and occupation, they come from many communities, bringing with them a common interest in their musical heritage.
The 1st Brigade Band is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society and is supported and sponsored by Heritage Military Music Foundation, Inc., a non-profit, educational, historical, and patriotic organization. In 2009, HMMF was awarded the Rueben Gold Thwaites Trophy for Local History, demonstrating the excellence of its achievements in both collecting and preserving history and sharing that history with the public.
The event is part of the 25th Buttermilk Festival season, a series of outdoor concerts produced and hosted by the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band. Funding is provided by major festival sponsors and co-sponsors, the Friends of the Festival, and a free-will offering that will be taken during the evening.
A food concession, serving sandwiches, desserts and beverages, will be available beginning at 6 p.m. In the event of unsuitable weather, the event will be moved to the fairgrounds.
Next on the Buttermilk Festival schedule is a special 25th anniversary concert by the Symphonic Band on Aug. 7.
The Symphonic Band will also be performing at Firemen's Park in Oakfield on Thursday, Aug. 1.