From as far back as the Civil War and earlier, the Navy has had a musical presence in Newport. The city has been the home of the Naval Academy Band and today is home to Navy Band Northeast.
During the Civil War, the Naval Academy was moved to Newport and housed at the Atlantic House Hotel on Bellevue Avenue. Today the Newport Elks Lodge stands on the spot the hotel occupied. The site is marked with a historical marker.
The Atlantic House Hotel in 1860.
A photo of the Naval Academy Band in Newport, dated 1853.
Composed by Henry Bedlow and arranged by Naval Academy Band member Philip Pfeiffer in 1863.
Dedicated to Major General Ambrose Burnside.
In the late 1800s the orchestra of the Training Ship U.S.S. New Hampshire was one of the more popular groups in town. The
New Hampshire Orchestra was conducted by Professor William McQuown. Here are two articles from 1882, one showing a program by the group and another talking about a reception in Newport for President Arthur. Is it the NH Band or the NH Orchestra? It seems the names were interchangeable!
The Naval Training Station Band played on the base and throughout the city. at the turn of the 20th century. Once the training ship bands were gone, they became the official band of the Naval Training Station. Below we have the summer concert schedule for 1903, including a number of performances by the Training Station Band at parks throughout the city.
Here are two examples of music that come from the Training Station.
Composed by Charles S. Cowie in 1898.
Dedicated to Commander John McGowan, U.S.N., Commanding Naval Training Station, Newport, RI.
Thank you to the Naval War College for the sheet music!
Composed by Anthony Paganucci, 1st Musician, Naval Training Station Newport, RI, in 1918
P.O. Box 539
Newport, RI 02840