ECW Weekender: The Green Machine Regiment Band at Ball’s Bluff

The 8th Green Machine (GM) Regiment Band will be performing an hour-long concert at Ball’s Bluff Regional Battlefield Park on Saturday, October 24th starting at 1:00 pm to commemorate the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Since 2018, the band has performed at the battlefield twice each year: once on the Fourth of July and once for the observance and remembrance of the October 21st, 1861 battle.

The band will play a variety of quick steps, marches, waltzes, and popular aires from the 19th-century on period instruments and mouthpieces that were recently acquired by Green Machine Ensembles. These instruments are of the over-the-shoulder variety, which was common during the American Civil War due to their convenient functionality while marching in front of troops. One tune that is guaranteed to make an appearance on Saturday is “The Vacant Chair,” a song composed by George Frederick Root with words by Henry S. Washburn. “The Vacant Chair” was inspired by the death of John William Grout, a 2nd lieutenant from the 15th Massachusetts Infantry who was killed during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.

The 8th GM Regiment Band was formed in 2017 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a small brass ensemble apart of the GMU athletic band program, Green Machine Ensembles. The band wears emerald green uniforms to reflect the school colors of George Mason University. If you would like to learn more about The 8th Green Machine Regiment Band and Green Machine Ensembles, you can follow us on Facebook or visit

2 Responses to ECW Weekender: The Green Machine Regiment Band at Ball’s Bluff

  1. Thank you for the profile on the school band from George Mason University. As a former member of military bands, (The U.S.A.F. Band in Washington, D.C., and The N.O.R.A.D. Band), it’s nice to see attention paid to the military bands during the Civil War. Before America got all ‘woke’ , and sick with COVID-19, it was evocative and exiting hearing the Wildcat Regimental Band of the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers performing at many of the great battlefields of that war. As re-enactor musician-soldiers, they authentically re-created the sound and look of the era.

    1. Hi Skip. Chris Troiano here, leader of the 8th GM Regiment Band. Thank you for the kind words! BJ Pino and the Wildcat Regiment Band are good friends of our organization. Stay tuned on Facebook and YouTube for videos of the band!

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