Origins & Traditions
The Marine Band, the first musical ensemble to perform at the White House, has provided a continual opportunity for presidents to enjoy music. President Thomas Jefferson, an avid violinist, called music his "favorite passion. "President James Madison invited the band to perform at the first inaugural ball. President Abraham Lincoln found the band's concerts a lift from the gloom of the Civil War. Music for social events, ceremonies, and state entertainment has played an important part in the history of the President's House from its earliest days.
The White House Historical Association | Exhibits