2005-2006: Playing for Presidents & Heading South to Vicksburg

Finances became a major issue with the band in 2005 because of the cost of transporting the band to Washington, D.C. to play for the 55th Presidential Inaugural Parade. Thanks to the generosity of the band’s many friends and fans and also to the dogged determination of the members, arrangements were made by Band Manager John Hamaan to take the group to the nation’s capital to perform. Members received a distinguished certificate of thanks from the Joint Chiefs Committee for their performance in very cold weather conditions.

Another long trip was the mission for 2006. The Thirty-Third Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band was invited to provide the music for the 100th Re-dedication Ceremony for the Illinois Monument at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Band members enjoyed touring the cemetery and looking for the names of long-lost relatives that were involved in the original “Siege of Vicksburg”. Research revealed some of the songs which had been played at the original dedication. And the 33rd Band made it a top priority to play those numbers at the ceremony. Also, it was a pleasure to play a very special arrangement of “Illinois” which was provided to us by our friends at the University of Illinois School of Music in Urbana, Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library building projects were completed at Springfield, Illinois in 2005. And the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band was thrilled to be a part of the dedication and to play in the Museum’s rotunda for many guests from all around the world.  The third United States President for which the band played in the 2005-2006 seasons was Ulysses S. Grant. The band performed in Galena, Illinois for Grant’s birthday ball and also for a Mississippi Riverboat Excursion at the gazebo in Galena’s beautiful Grant Park. 

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