By Jon McGinty
The award-winning 1st Brigade Band of Watertown, Wis., will perform a Veterans Day concert at Rockford’s Memorial Hall at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11. The program is titled “The Soldiers, Remembered Through Their Music.”
Since 1964, these superb musicians have performed period brass band music on antique instruments, some of which survived from the Civil War. The band consists of more than 80 volunteers, both men and women, who portray civilians and members of the original 1st Brigade Band from Brodhead, Wis. That band left their rural Wisconsin homes in 1864 to join the Union Army, and performed with distinction under Gen. William T. Sherman in campaigns throughout Northern Georgia and the Carolinas.
The modern-day band performs an average of more than 40 concerts a year throughout the United States, all the while attired in authentic Civil War uniforms. But theirs is more than a concert, since each historical program is both entertaining and educational. Superbly-performed musical selections are combined with narrative accounts, anecdotes, tales and legends of the 1860s, when our nation was rent by Civil War. The band really makes history live!
Hosting this event at Veterans Memorial Hall will be members of Logan Camp No. 26, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and Mary Logan Auxiliary No. 20. Wearing period uniforms and dresses, nearly a dozen members will portray Civil War soldiers and civilians, as they mingle with the incoming audience. Guests are encouraged to ask questions and engage the re-enactors in a conversation about their Civil War “experiences.”
From the Nov. 7-13, 2012, issue