Our History

The band depicted is the 15th Regiment Band, circa 1898

The band depicted is the 15th Regiment Band, circa 1898

A Bygone Era Preserved

Once upon a time in America, before the invention of radio and television, life moved at a slower pace. Americans were challenged to find or create a means of recreation. Band music filled much of the need for entertainment and the names of the famous leaders of the traveling bands, John Phillip Sousa, Karl L King, Edwin Franko Goldman, among others, became household words.

[15th Regiment Band] In addition to the professional bands, virtually every city or town in the United States was home to at least one community band. These bands were comprised of local citizens devoting their time and enthusiasm to making music for their own enjoyment and that of the local area. Townspeople would gather picnics and sit in the green grass under the shade trees of the local park to socialize with others, and to listen to the music of their friends and neighbors.


The photo is a mounted band member in Ft. Stewart, Texas, circa 1916

Today, many of these community bands have folded, victims of a more turbulent society, and the advent of other forms of entertainment. Those few which remain have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. As communities have developed a fierce sense of pride in there local talent, and as new generations of musicians, many have turned to community bands as an outlet for their talents. [Camp Steward 1916]

Come join or listen to a community band!


"The Carlisle Band: An Ornament to the Community"

by Susan Eyster Meehan
Book, 96 pages

$20.00 donation
includes shipping

This publication of 96 pages is a result of intensive research and interviews by the author, Sue Meehan. The book provides a steadfast reminder of yesterdays, former players and over 150 years of parade, concerts and other public occasions. This book will be of interest to all of our patrons, friends and relatives of the over 700 musicians who have performed with the band over the many years of its existence. We will mail the book to you after you have made a donation of $20 or more. Just indicate your mailing address.


Timeline of The Carlisle Band

The Carlisle Band was formed in 1844 and has been performing continuously since 1900.

This fact gives the distinction of being one of the oldest town bands in existence. From 1905 to 1925, the Band was mustered into the military as the Eighth Regimental National Guard Band. The Band served with the US Army on the Mexican Border and became part of the 28th Division. The Band ended its military career as the Governors Own 104th Calvary Band.

[The photo on the right depicts the Carlisle Town Band in 1902]

At one point, it performed mounted on horses. In 1925 it reverted back to civilian status and again became The Carlisle Town Band.


  • 1844 - Began as the Carlisle Brass Band
  • 1866 - woodwinds added to the Band
  • 1905 - The entire Band enlisted as the 8th Regimental Band, Pennsylvania National Guard.
  • 1907 - The Band was named the 104th Cavalry Band and played mounted on horseback.
  • 1916 - The Band was sent to El Paso, Texas during the war with Mexico
  • 1922 - The Band as a tribute to its service in Texas. was designated as the Governor's own.
  • 1923 - mustered out of the PNG and reformed as The Carlisle Town Band which exists to the present time.
  • The Band was comprised of only male members until the late 1960's when females were admitted

Our Own Band Hall

The photo shows the 8th Regiment Band on their return from camp on August 21, 1920

Carlisle Band is one of a few bands in the United States that has its own hall, which was built in 1948. Construction was made possible through the donation of materials by many local businesses.

The Carlisle Band Hall is located at 35 East South Street Carlisle, Pa. 17013