Band celebrates 150 years
A series of special events in 2023-24 will commemorate 150 years of musical excellence at Carthage.
According to news reports, students on the previous campus in Carthage, Illinois, formed a six-piece brass ensemble in fall 1873. Among the oldest college bands in the United States, it has grown significantly in both size and distinction over the ensuing century and a half.
This feature story first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of The Carthaginian magazine.
Those who helped shape this legacy are invited to take part. Spanning the full academic year, the celebration begins Saturday, Sept. 30 with the annual Homecoming Concert, highlighted by an Alumni Band and music from the 1870s. Then, on Saturday, Nov. 4, music education graduates will lead the Wind Orchestra during the Lakeside Band Festival.
The series culminates in a 150th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, May 11, featuring the premiere of “Fortitude” by prominent composer Timothy Mahr. Commissioned specifically for the occasion, the piece serves as a musical representation of 142 — the band room number in the Johnson Arts Center — while depicting the spirit, conviction, camaraderie, and joy that come from playing in a band.
All events are free and open to the public.