Champaign, Illinois Community Bands (1885-1910) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Champaign, Illinois Community Bands (1885-1910)

Historical Note: The ninteenth-century community band traditions of Champaign, Illinois can be traced to the European military band traditions of Germany and England. The primary purpose of community bands across America was to supply music to accompanying the marching of local militia during times of war and provide musical entertainment for holiday and patriotic celebrations. While most community ensembles played a variety of secular and religious music, the most common genre of music performed by these community ensembles was the military march. While Champaign, Illinois enjoyed a thriving military band tradition during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is unclear which local ensembles may have used the music included in this collection. There is some evidence to suggest Champaign's Order of the Knights of Pythias, a non-sectarian fraternal order, may have had a fraternal band which used some of this music.
Sources: Inventory sheets, shipping labels, marginalia, and handwritten notes. Also used was the book "The Wind Band" by Edwin Franko Goldman.
Note Author: Kelly Carlson, Rene Mueller, Molly Sauder and Scott Schwartz

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