About Us / Band History

Welcome to the 88th Army Band. We are part of the Rhode Island Army National Guard. Our primary job is to provide Musical Support accross the state as well as to our nation's needs. The 88th Army Band has a long and proud history of service to our State and Country. Instituted in 1892, our band has always stood by our governor, aiding him as he and our state needs our support.

Being many bands in one, We currently offer the following services but not limiting to:

  • Brass Quintet

  • Ceremonial Band

  • March Band

  • Philharmonic Concert Band

  • Pop-Rock Band


The 88th Army Band is an amazing opportunity for a young and talented musician. In addition to financial compensation, our members also recieve standard benefits of being part of the Rhode Island National Guard as well as being part of the United States Military.

Joining the 88th Army Band is not an option for everybody. In addition to meeting the Standards of Enlistment into the RI National Guard, a Prospective Band member must also be able to successfully pass a rigorous Audition. At minimum, an audition is expected include but not limiting to:

  • A selected Audition Piece

  • Chromatic and Arpeggio Runs

  • Intonation

  • Major and Minor Scales

  • Sight Reading


If you are a competent musician with strong desire to accelerate his or her career, then hear the call to serve your Country, State, and Community. Take the first step and Contact Us. We look forward to meeting you and hope that one day you can also be a member of “The Governor’s Own!” 88th Army Band.

Today’s 88th Army Band remains the final product of the consolidation of three former army bands. The oldest band dates back to 24 June 1892 in the brigade of the Rhode Island Militia as the Bands, 1st & 2nd Regiments of Infantry. Re-designation into the Coast Artillery Corps took place on 4 November 1908. The band mustered and entered into federal service on 5 August 1917. Redesigned the 88th Army Ground Forces Band occurred on 25 May 1944. The 88th Army Ground Forces Band became inactive on 1 June 1946 in Germany.

The Camp Lee Band organized on 29 January 1930 under the 118th Engineers of the 43rd Division, Rhode Island Army National Guard. They moved to Camp Lee on 19 February 1942 where they disbanded that same year. The band reconstituted on 25 August 1945 under the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

The 125th Army Band organized on 7 November 1930 under Service Battery, 103d Field Artillery of the 43d Division, Rhode Island Army National Guard. It reorganized on 19 February 1942 as the 43d Division Artillery Band. On 1 June 1944 it became the 125th Army Ground Forces Band. They disbanded on 25 August 1944 on Guadal Canal, Solomon Islands and reconstituted on 25 August 1945 under the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

On 2 July 1946 the 88th Army Ground Forces Band consolidated with the 125th Army Ground Forces Band to form the current 88th Army Band, Rhode Island Army National Guard.

The anchor, traditional symbol of hope, is adapted from the seal and flag of the state of Rhode Island and is used as well on the insignia of the Army National Guard units of the state. The maple leaf alludes to the state tree and the stars number thirteen in reference to the original union of thirteen states into which Rhode Island was the thirteenth admitted. The colors, gold, blue, and white are used in reference to the state flag. A designation scroll is added to the baldric, tabard and drum with another scroll listing the World War II campaign honors. The baldric also makes two additions to the honor scroll, with the slogan “THE GOVERNOR’S OWN” and the year it was constituted “1892” which bracket the campaign honors. The mace adds the designation band inscribed “88TH ARMY BAND” along with a star between two rows of maple leaves.

The Mace is the symbol of command in marching band. The name of the band is crested around the thickest part as well as the state's traditional symbol of hope. Like the Tabard and the Drum, the Mace displays an elegant part of the Baldric, no matter how small or light the object.

A full color embroidered tab of white with the inscription “EIGHTY-EIGHTH ARMY BAND” in blue 5/16 inch (.79 cm) letters, edged with a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) scarlet border. The overall dimensions are 3 15/16 inches (10 cm) in length and 11/16 inch (1.75 cm) in width. The tab was approved on 1 July 2010. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-1029).

The symbol, of the band, combines both the seal and flag of the state of Rhode Island into presentable format, in which is used to showcase the band as it marches down the street.