1900s: When our Italian forefathers
came to America, they brought with them many talents and qualities.
- Two most impressive traits were
their love of music and their love and devotion of their Patron Saints.
- It was during this time that a
group of accomplished musicians had been gathering at the Sons of Italy Hall in Utica, NY,
- just to play and enjoy the
music they had brought with them from the old country.
- Also during this time
Congregas (societies) were formed to honor the Saints with processions and
feasts. In 1905, these Societies approached this group of musicians to ask them to
provide the musical prayers for the Processions and perform in concert at the feasts.
- Legend has it that as these musicians were deciding on a name, one member just
happened to have a pair of trousers with a red stripe down the side and a band hat with
red bunting around it. This inspired the
musicians and with that La Banda Rossa was born.
- Over the years the uniform has undergone a number of
changes. In the early years the uniform was very conservative and Italian in appearance,
even to the plumed hats fashioned after the Bersagliere (Italian Military Band of Italy).
It then went from Eisenhower Jackets; a full dress uniform complete with braids and
epaulets; to red suit coat jackets with black lapels; to the present basic uniform of
today consisting of hats, white shirts, red ties, black pants, and red jackets.