WEST POINT, NY - The United States Military Academy at West Point Band celebrates 200 years of musical service.

The West Point Museum will celebrate this bicentenary with a special exhibit of artifacts, sounds and imagery opening May 21.

Music has played a role at West Point since the American War for Independence. Regiments assigned to West Point's Revolutionary War fortifications and later the newly founded United States Military Academy, brought with them musicians to help manage the Soldier's daily duties and to inspire military dignity and esprit de corps.

For two centuries the United States Military Academy at West Point Band has continued the traditions of those forbearers. Officially established on June 8, 1817, the USMA Band is celebrating its bicentennial. Although many changes have occurred over the years, music continues to be an aspect of daily life for the cadets and soldiers at the Academy. Today, the USMA Band continues to inspire and motivate the next generation of the United States Army's leaders as well as to serve as musical ambassadors for the US Army to the nation.

This exhibition presents 200 years of the band's history through artifacts, sound and imagery. The United States Military Academy at West Point Band is the oldest continuously serving United States Army Band and the longest continuously serving unit at the United States Army's oldest continually occupied post. Garrison West Point was established in 1778.

For 200 years the USMA Band has served:

"To provide world-class music, to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets and to serve as ambassadors of the United States Military Academy to the local, national and international communities." (USMA Band Mission Statement)