Excelsior Band

The Excelsior Band is a ten piece jazz marching brass band that consists of three trumpets, three saxophones, one trombone, a tuba, bass drum and snare drum. The band performs in Mobile Mardi Gras parades and other event. The group also performs as a quintet, as requested for smaller events.

John A. Pope founded the Excelsior Band in 1883 on the corner of Scott and Selma Streets with a group of musician friends who had gathered to celebrate the birth of his son. Several original members worked for the Creole Fire Company, so they often practiced their music in a room above the fire station.

Originally, Pope’s Excelsior Band had eighteen members. Among those members were people such as, “Cootie” Williams, Leo Battiste, Alex Terez, Ted Collins and the band’s founder, John A. Pope who played the B-flat trumpet.

In 1902, John A.'s son John C. Pope became leader of the band at age 19.

Members of the Excelsior band in 1988 included: James Matthews and Phillip Moody on drums; Ernest Coleman on tuba; Robert Petty on trombone; James Seals, Herbert Dillard, and Hosea London on trumpet; Joe Morrison, Hubert Standfield and Joe Lewis on saxophone. The band also has several substitute members, including William Burks, Ray Packer, Theodore Arthur and Leon Rhoden.

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