The Eighth Regiment Band of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry was formed in 1986,in Rome, Georgia when the conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra, Mr. John Carruth, asked brass and percussion players to stay after rehearsal and work on Civil War-era music. Mr. Carruth, with assistance from the other musicians, gathered up the necessary instruments including an E-flat tuba being used as a planter, and began working on the music, thus expanding his lifelong interest and passion for the music of the mid 19th century.
“The 8th”is the modern counterpart of the Band of the Eighth Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry whose men gallantly served their Homeland from 1st Manassas in 1861 to Appomattox in 1865. It was decided to recreate this particular band when research revealed that it was perhaps the largest Georgia band as well as the first to go to the Army of Northern Virginia. Three of the ten companies came from the Rome area and G. G. Merck, the Chief Musician, volunteered in Rome. We hope that all who read this will understand the 8th Regiment Band is not simply a “Civil War Band” or a “Confederate” Band. We realize that we could not portray the true history of those times, nor could we achieve public trust in our historical accuracy by speaking to only one side. For this reason, The 8th regularly dons Union Blue and performs as the Band of the 8th New York National Guard, “The Washington Greys,” to give equal exposure to the music and heroism displayed on both sides. Since most of the better military bands were derived from civilian organizations, the 8th, with appropriate civilian dress, also performs as the “American Town Band.” In many instances, they combine both Union and Confederate Uniforms as they strive to present “a Living Museum of 19th Century Emotions.” Mr. Carruth not only presents carefully selected music but also provides historically correct details and anecdotes regarding the composers, music and politics of the era so the audience can “feel what the men and women of the Civil War period felt.”
“The members of the Eighth Regiment are not paid as individuals and honestly believe that whatever success the band has achieved is due to that fact. Our musicians are here because we love keeping this great American band music alive. Many of the players have been in the organization since the beginning and if you’ve been here that long, there’s got to be something to it.” John Carruth.
The Eighth Regiment has performed in a variety of settings over the years including “Good Morning America,” “Performance Today,” National Public Radio, the Great American Brass Band Festivals, concerts with The Atlanta, Chattanooga and Rome Symphony Orchestras, the Battle of Atlanta, made-for-TV movies, numerous National Battlefield Parks, memorial services, parades, college campuses, re-enactments, weddings, and military balls. We were also honored to be invited to provide music for the interment of the final crew of the CSS Hunley.
Within this site you will be able to view our contact information, band roster, performance & events schedule, band performance history and pictures, sample our music, purchase CDs from our collection, add your email to our contact list or even donate to the organization! The site is constantly expanding and changing so come back and take a look on a regular basis.
The Eighth Regiment Band is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All proceeds received are used for expenses, music, and the purchasing of authentic Civil War instruments. Participation by band members is on a voluntary basis.