Honoring America’s Regimental Band Legacy at the University of Illinois

Saturday, November 14, 2015
Memorial Stadium, 1402 S. 1st Street, Champaign

In 1868 the University of Illinois band became the first Land Grant Institution music ensemble of its type, one year after its founding as the Illinois Industrial University. In 1870 sixteen of the bandsmen petitioned the University Board for music instruction to help enhance the ensemble’s performance so that it could serve as University’s battalion band for campus commencements, building dedications, parades, and society events as well as various sporting events. The sixty-member band eventually performed at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition on June 16, 1893, the same time as the John Philip Sousa Military Band gave its first performances at the same World’s Fair. In 1908 A. Austin Harding became the first official director of the University of Illinois Band and began a life-long professional relationship with country’s “March King” which eventually led to the creation of America’s School Band Movement in 1920. Since its inception America’s public school band movement and the country’s collegiate band education system has been continually guided by the University of Illinois Band and its first four directors – A. Austin Harding, Mark Hindsley, Harry Begian, and James Keene. Join the Marching Illini in their special musical tribute during the Illinois vs Ohio State football game half-time show to honor the students, faculty, and legacy of the University of Illinois Band and its influence on American School Band Movement. Visit http://sousaarchives.org for more information.

{ music }