Encyclopedia Brunoniana

American Band

The American Band played at Brown graduations from at least 1847, when Brown paid eighty dollars for its services. The band was called the American Brass Band in 1837 when it emerged as a reorganization of the Providence Brass Band founded in 1826 by Joe Greene. David Wallis Reeves became the leader in 1866. Reeves wrote more than one hundred marches and he “adapted” the Brown Commencement March, which has been played during the procession to the First Baptist Church since 1869 and was first published as a piano solo in 1891. The traditional music for the procession as it returned up the hill was “The Second Connecticut Regiment,” another march by Reeves. The band played for Commencements until 1970, after which the Brown Band accompanied the procession.