West Point Band

United States Military Academy Band

The United States Military Academy Band
Active 1817 – present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army
Garrison/HQ West Point, New York
Nickname(s) "West Point Band"
Colors Black and White
March The Army Goes Rolling Along (official march) Play 
Website http://www.westpointband.com
COL Andrew Esch

The West Point Band (also known as the U.S. Military Academy Band or USMA Band) is the U.S. Army's oldest active band and the oldest unit at the United States Military Academy, traces its roots to the American Revolutionary War. At that time, fifers and drummers were stationed with companies of minutemen on Constitution Island, across the river from West Point. In 1778, General Samuel Holden Parsons' 1st Connecticut Brigade crossed the Hudson River and established West Point as a permanent military post. After the American Revolution, Congress disbanded most of the Continental Army, but “the 55 men at West Point,” members of the 2nd Continental Artillery, remained as they were. Among their ranks stood at least one drummer and one fifer, who alone maintained the tradition of military music at West Point.[1]

With the establishment of the United States Military Academy in 1802 came an increased demand for military music. As the academy grew, it needed fifers, drummers and buglers to drill the new cadets and provide an audible order to their duty day. In 1817 the ensemble was named the "West Point Band," and by this time was performing on a full range of instruments, which included two bassoons, two Royal Kent bugles, a tenor bugle, ten clarinets, three French horns, a serpent (an early bass horn), cymbals, a bass drum, eight flutes, and two trumpets, aside from the fifes, drums and bugles used in field activities - the basis of the West Point Hellcats.

Today’s band consists of the following components: the Concert Band, the Benny Havens Band, the Hellcats, the Marching Band and Support Staff. The organization fulfills all of the official musical requirements of the Academy, including military and patriotic ceremonies, public concerts, sporting events and radio and television broadcasts, as well as social activities for the Corps of Cadets and the West Point community.[2]

As the senior premier musical representative of the United States Army, the band has appeared at many historical events. It performed at the dedication of the Erie Canal; at the Chicago and New York World’s Fairs; and for the funerals of Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard M. Nixon as well as the inaugurations of numerous presidents. Additionally, the West Point Band has collaborated with some of the finest musical ensembles in the country, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Members of the West Point Band have also been showcased in Carnegie Hall and featured on the Today Show, 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC, documentaries shown on The History Channel and Discovery Channel, and CD recordings for Columbia Records.[3]

West Point Band was a participant in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; its first time was in 1970 and the next appearance will be in 2016.

The West Point Band joined the Corps of Cadets on The Plain for a pass in review. 
The West Point Band's Concert Band performed on Veterans Day at West Point's Eisenhower Hall. 
The Hellcats participate in the United States Military Academy's Summer Leadership Seminar marching the attendees over to Eisenhower Hall. 

On, Brave Old Army Team
Philip Egner On, Brave Old Army Team
Graduation March
Francis Resta Graduation March

Salute cannon/Reveille
Unknown Salute cannon/Reveille as performed by The Hellcats
Funeral Taps
Daniel Butterfield Taps as performed by The Hellcats

See also


  1. http://www.westpoint.edu/band/SitePages/About.aspx
  2. http://www.westpointband.com
  3. Moon, Robert. Encyclopedic Reference of Military Music at West Point with a History of the West Point Band [Working papers updated August 2011] Special Collections and Archives Division. United States Military Academy Library.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.