29th Division Band plays for Va. Executive Mansion birthday

The Virginia National Guard's Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band plays at the 200th Birthday Party for the Virginia Executive Mansion March 16, 2013, in Richmond. Several family members of Soldiers in the band added their musical talents to the concert. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

The Virginia National Guard’s Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band plays at the 200th Birthday Party for the Virginia Executive Mansion March 16, 2013, in Richmond. Several family members of Soldiers in the band added their musical talents to the concert. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band played at the 200th Birthday Party for the Virginia Executive Mansion March 16, 2013, in Richmond. The band’s rock ensemble “Raising Caine” also performed, and several family members of Soldiers in the band added their musical talents to the concert.

According to the Executive Mansion web site, it is the oldest continually occupied governor’s residence in the United States, built for that purpose in 1813. The Mansion serves as a residence for Virginia Governors and their families, a place for public and private events and is also open at certain times for visitors. The current residents of the Executive Mansion are Governor Robert F. McDonnell, the Mansion’s 54th Governor, and his family.

The 29th Division Band has been in existence since 1922.

The band originated in Roanoke in 1922 as a section of the 116th Infantry Brigade’s Service Company, but in October 1943, it was inducted into federal service as part of the 29th Division. Band members joined in the assault on Omaha Beach, an action for which they received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. They saw action in four European campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe.

In 1946, the 29th Division Band was inactivated. Its Virginia segment became the 90th Army Band, the “Governor’s Own,” a title which it retained until October 1985. That year, it once again put on the Blue and Gray patch, this time as the band for the only light infantry division in the entire U.S. Army National Guard.

Present-day missions take 29th Division Band members all over and sometimes outside the Commonwealth of Virginia. They perform in concert, marching band, and small ensembles for military and civilian functions alike, with a repertoire that ranges from the classics to pop music to Broadway and motion picture hits. The band’s most recent foreign assignments were in Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Stabilization Force 10 in 2002, and the 60th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France in 2004.

In 2007, the 29th Army Band replaced the 77th Army Band at Fort Sill, Okla., for their annual training.

Learn more:
http://www.executivemansion.virginia.gov

The Executive Mansion on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/VAGovsMansion

The 29th Division Band on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/29th.Divsion.Band

The Virginia National Guard's Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band's rock ensemble "Raising Caine" plays at the 200th Birthday Party for the Virginia Executive Mansion March 16, 2013, in Richmond. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

The Virginia National Guard’s Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band’s rock ensemble “Raising Caine” plays at the 200th Birthday Party for the Virginia Executive Mansion March 16, 2013, in Richmond. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

About Mr. Cotton Puryear

Mr. Cotton Puryear is the state public affairs officer for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. He retired from uniformed service in June 2010 after almost 24 years of active duty U. S. Army and Army National Guard service.