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Strike Up the Band


Strike Up the Band -Past Exhibit (WebHeader).jpg
Strike Up the Band

April 26,  2023 – August 2023

From the creation of the first FDNY band in 1900 through the present day, members of the department have used music to celebrate the achievements of the department in parades and exhibitions, and to mourn their losses at funerals. The first band in the department was formed in 1900, but only lasted a few years. In 1913, a full marching band was organized, and appeared in parades throughout the city, while also traveling the country performing in competitions. In 1920, a Bugle and Drum Corp was formed and coexisted with the marching band. With the formation of the Emerald Society (the Department’s Fraternal Irish Organization) in 1956, bagpipes came to forefront of the department's musical efforts, and remain symbolic of the department's musical endeavors. The FDNY Pipes and Drums was formed in 1962 and exists proudly to this day, performing in parades and dedications, while also mourning every fallen member at funerals. 


The New York City Fire Museum’s new exhibition “Strike Up the Band: A Tribute to the Bands of the Bravest” explores the rich history of the Department’s musicians.  Drawing upon the museum's diverse collection, the exhibition takes the visitor through over 100 years of musical history. Using historic objects such as bagpipes and drums, uniforms, trophies, and photographs from throughout the bands’ histories, as well as modern video displays, visitors can explore this little-known aspect of the department. 

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