Saxton’s Cornet Band, which has been at many of the festivals, recreates the sounds, appearance and conduct of brass bands during the antebellum and Civil War eras. Their programs are full of energy and are entertaining both musically and visually. The performance is a historically accurate concert experience from the mid-19th century, complete with dramatic readings and period humor in addition to the music.
The modern-day Saxton’s Cornet Band is named for one of the most popular and long-lived ensembles that performed in Kentucky for more than 60 years from before the Civil War period into the early 20th century. The original band’s founder was Henry Saxton of Lexington, who organized the band and kept it performing in Lexington playing concerts, dances, parades and funerals.
Reorganized in 1989, the Saxton’s Cornet Band of today strives to maintain the spirit and high standards set by the original ensemble. Saxton’s Cornet Band has performed for the inauguration of President George W. Bush and for the National Park Service at sites around the country, including Gettysburg National Military Park. It has played aboard the steamboats Delta Queen and Belle of Louisville, and in historic performing arts centers from Keokuk, Iowa, to Chillicothe, Ohio.
Saxton’s has been featured on the silver screen as well, in the Turner films “Gettysburg” and “The Day Lincoln Was Shot.” Saxton’s Cornet Band also has toured internationally, with concerts throughout Taiwan, including a performance at The National Concert Hall in Taipei.