The Band of the California Battalion, a reenacted Union Civil War Brass Band, begins its 29th year of presenting authentic music from the American Civil War. As their promotional materials suggest they perform, “stirring martial music and poignant popular aires” from a time when “instruments had character and characters had instruments!”
The Band was featured at both of the National Civil War Brass Band Festivals in Campbellsville, Kentucky where they were the only group from west of the Rocky Mountains. The group was invited twice to be the keynote Band at the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival that included emotional command performances for the National Park Service on the battlefield at the Pennsylvania Monument. The Band of the California Battalion was also the only group featured in a special musical performance for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. In addition they have toured and performed at Antietam, Harper’s Ferry and the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. They most recently performed at Ft. Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina for the National Park Service. The Band of the California Battalion was a featured performer in the inaugural concert series at the
new Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, CA. as well as the opening of the new Lincoln Exhibit at the Huntington Library. The Band continues to perform at concerts, reenactments, special performances and festivals around California and around the country.
This famous, acclaimed re-enactor group is an accurate portrayal of a battalion or brigade level band of the Union Army during the Civil War. A group such as this would be expected to provide music for all military occasions. The band has the appearance of a group that has been in the field for some time. The flashy parade garb has given way to standard infantry and cavalry uniforms. Due to casualties, replacements had to be garnered from other branches of the service. The bands kept the army together so top priority was given to keeping the musical ensembles intact. The Band of the California Battalion, a fourteen piece re-enacted Civil War Brass Band performs with authentic period instruments , music, chairs and uniforms.