5th Michigan Regiment Band

On May 18, 2011, the Michigan State House of Representatives named the Fifth Michigan Regiment Band the “Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial Band.” The 5th Michigan Regimental Band is a historical recreation of the 1861 Band of the 5th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. The present band brings American Civil War History to thousands of spectator each year through music and historical narration. The band performs at reenactments, living history encampments, festivals, historical event and schools though out the year. Performance have included Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Civil War Band Festival in Campbellsville, Kentucky; Jackson Cascades Civil War Muster in Jackson, Michigan; Rutherford B. Hayes Center in Fremont, Ohio; Living History Encampments in Bay City, Michigan; Civil War Roundtable in Farmington, Michigan; and Civil War Days at Historical Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan; to name just a few places where the band has performed.

The band’s musical repertoire includes popular marches, polkas, schottisches, and waltzes that were played around the 1860’s for parades, military balls and musters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. The band’s director, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Smith, meticulously transcribed much of the music using material from the National Archives and original sheet music. The music is performed on period antique and replica Saxhorns and rope tension wooden drums.

The band wears authentic reproductions of the wool uniforms that were worn by the 5th Michigan soldiers during the Civil War. Traveling with the band is a Color Guard and ladies in Civil War Period attire.

The band is a non-profit organization managed by a board of Directors with all members being volunteers. Stipends charged for performances help defer operation costs and purchasing of new instruments. A concerted effort is being put forth to make our Band available as much as possible during these important Civil War Sesquicentennial years. Charges are based on distance to travel and type of performance presented. Please visit the bands web site at http://www.mi5th.org or send inquires to the 5th Michigan Regiment Band, PO Box 170, Novi, Michigan 48376.