Of the many brass bands that have existed in the USA over the last 200 years very few have documented records covering their history. The directory linked below is an attempt to bring together information about some such bands and make it available to all. It is an expanded extraction from my earlier “Brass Bands of the World”. Over 8,700 bands are recorded here, with some 560 additional cross references for alternative or previous names.
Sadly, for the majority of bands, little is known other than their name and a brief mention in the historical records. This is an unknown, and probably very small, proportion of the cornet/town bands that actually flourished in the USA, particularly in the 19th century. I am sure there are many more still to be unearthed, hiding in newspaper reports or contemporary photographs and documents in museums, archives, the hands of private collectors and the attics of individuals.
My own research on a broad scale encompasses US brass bands from the 1840’s to the 1920’s. More detailed research is ongoing, but I have only reached 1872 so far – and I intend to issue an update when I have proceeded further into the late 1800’s! I must pass on my thanks to the historians, researchers and enthusiasts who have helped me with information about bands from their area or in their field of expertise.
Pictured here are a few unknown bands to whet your appetite! There are many more images of US bands in the IBEW – at: http://www.ibew.org.uk/vbbp-usal.htm