Mission Statement: The Band’s mission is to represent the American Legion, the local community, the State of Washington, and the citizens of the United States in a positive and professional manner through musical performances presented to the public. These performances include music of historical, patriotic, motivational, and pure entertainment value. Through our efforts we hope to encourage involvement and support by the general public and to continue the legacy of wind band music and traditional performance practices.
History: The first recorded concert by the band was in the spring of 1925 for the official season opening of the Olympia Yacht Club. This concert has remained an annual event and takes place in early May. In 1931 the band performed for another annual event that continues today. It is the Olympia Pet Parade. Olympia pet owners march their costumed pets through town, led by the band. Today the parade is usually the third Saturday in August and is a fun and well attended event with the band still leading it off.
The band has participated in every annual Washington State American Legion Convention since 1925 with the exception of 2005 due to funding which was resumed in 2006 and is ongoing today. Since 1959 the band has marched the annual Egg Day Parade in Winlock, Washington. The Legion band has performed on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day in the State Capitol Rotunda for many years although occasionally we get a reprieve with the 56th Army Band or the 133rd Army National Band performing.
From its conception the band has been supported by Olympia Post #3. Post #3 fell on some difficult times in the 1990’s and by 1999 had to hand the support of the band over to the Department of Washington Headquarters of the American Legion which graciously supports the band to this day. The band also receives support from Saint Martin’s University which allows us the use of a rehearsal facility.
Tidbits of history: The band competed and won the title of the Legion’s National Band for 1956-57. They took second place in 1957-58 because of a uniform button being unbuttoned.
The composer of the Official U.S. Air Force Song, Major Robert M. Crawford, spent summer vacations in Olympia and often played with the band. He wrote a song and dedicated it to the Olympia Legion Band titled: The Loyal Legionnaire.