The Ypsilanti community has a rich tradition of organized band music—in addition to its public school and university programs. In The Story of Ypsilanti (1923), Harvey Colburn mentions a city band in the mid-1800's. This band was later dissolved and replaced by the Light Guard Band in 1872. This band was presumably attached to Ypsilanti's Company G of the Michigan National Guard and performed at many military and civic functions into the late 1890's. A second Ypsilanti City Band was organized in 1876.
In Ypsilanti: A History in Pictures (2002), James Thomas Mann refers to and provides a photograph of the Ypsilanti Cornet Band, a group of approximately 10 players. The caption reads: "The Ypsilanti Cornet Band was founded in the 1870's and led by Fred Cutler. The band often performed while riding in a glorious chariot of blue and gold, or marching at the head of a parade. It was said there could be no finer or more inspiring music than that of the Ypsilanti Cornet Band. Eventually the band separated, the chariot was lost, and now even the memories are gone."