This is from Columbia Alumni News, vol. 24. Funny how it's written in 1932, but it still talks about the origins of Band as if it were ancient history. I guarantee you'll be saying "Wow, the more things change, the more they stay the same," all throughout the article. In fact, I think I'll highlight those spots.

Columbia's First Band Appeared in Fall of 1904
 
  It is a far cry from the eighty-piece 
band that tooted its trumpets and rolled its
drums at the Columbia football games this 
past season back to the be-derbied group of 
eight musicians who rendered, after a 
fashion, the musical notes at Blue and White
football games of twenty-eight years ago.
   If you were a spectator at the Columbia-
Cornell football game in 1904 at the 
American League Ball Park, up where the 
great Medical Center now stands, you 
probably remember seeing and hearing 
embyronic [sic] and aspiring Sousas rendering 
music in a lusty fashion. It was not often 
in those days that Columbians had an 
opportunity to sit in on a victory, 12-6, 
over Cornell and the band let everyone know 
it.
   That 1904 band made up in noise and 
spirit what it lacked in number and 
symphony. Down Broadway it came, past the 
few remaining farms on Manhattan Island, 
along through the pleasant little 
residential districts, paraded around the 
then puerile Columbia campus and then down 
to the famous gathering place at Broadway 
and 110th Street-the Lion Cafe.
   Such was the start of Columbia's band. 
Below is a picture of the 1904 band taken on 
the steps of the old Faculty Club, where the 
School of Business now stands. There you see 
the pioneers in Morningside Heights bandom, 
as fine a group as ever plucked peanuts out 
of a tuba or kicked a size twelve through a 
bass drum.
   On the left there is Herman W. Albert, 
'05, who is a prominent banker in San 
Francisco. Next to him, all dressed up and 
some place to go, is Frederick Luce, '06, 
now a druggist in the thriving community of 
Creston, Iowa.
   The fellow with the big hat is Earl C. 
Stevens, '06E, an engineer in Portland, Ore., 
and then comes William Neidlinger, '07, the 
trap drum expert, who is now a resident of 
New York City.
   The 1932 band did not set a precedent by 
recruiting a few "ringers" for in 1904 
Burnett C. Tuthill, '09, '10AM, while a 
student in prep school, wandered up to 
Morningside Heights with his clarinet and 
joined the musicians. He blew a good tune so
he was permitted to remain a member of the 
band and the clarinet offered at least a new 
instrument. Tuthill now is prominent in 
musical circles in Cincinnati.
   Rather small of stature but remarkably 
strong of arm, Walter W. Mott, '05, '09P&S, 
lugged the bass drum hither and yon in 
Columbia's musical parades and William F. 
Thoman, '03, '06E, now vice-president of the 
Caye Construction Co., New York City, also 
was a member of the band. On the extreme 
right there is Henry H. Goodwin, '06E, who 
is a building contractor and real estate man 
in New York City.
   The 1904 band was a short-lived affair. 
Enthusiasm was one of its largest assets and 
in its brief existence it made plenty of 
noise, the peak being reached at the Cornell 
game of '04. In fact, grey-bearded gentlemen 
of the undergraduate era of nearly thirty 
years ago recall that the Columbia band did 
not exist before the Cornell game and that 
with the Blue and White victory it faded 
into obscurity, not to be revived until 
wing-collars among students were passe along 
about 1913.
   For several years, Columbia was without a 
band but in 1913, mostly through the efforts 
of Walter W. Dwyer, '15, students on 
Morningside organized a band with Ben 
Philson, '14L, now in the insurance 
business, as band master. When the call went 
out for candidates to meet in the Commons 
about one hundred men reported, ninety-nine 
of whom were cornet players.
   A room on the top floor of the School of 
Mines building was the scene of rehearsals 
during the Fall of '13 and then, with the 
start of the basketball season, the band, 
twenty-three men strong, blossomed out and 
enlivened the basketball season by playing 
at the games. Football was not in vogue at 
Columbia at that time so the musicians saved 
their efforts for Basketball and crews 
contests. 
   The band accompanied the basketball team 
to Yale and Pennsylvania for games in 1914 
and then in June of that year it went to 
Poughkeepsie on a special boat and helped to 
celebrate Columbia's crew victory in 
excellent style. In 1915 it was even given 
space on the observation train! The hills 
around Highland and Poughkeepsie probably 
are still resounding the echoes of the noisy 
Columbians.
   The 1913-14 band had Alan Bierhoff, '16, 
'18P&S, as its piccolo player and the 
clarinet experts were Harry H. Canterbury, 
'17, and Kimball C. Atwood, '16, '18L. 
Canterbury is an engineer in Los Angeles and
Atwood is in the insurance business. 
   The 1913-14 band was cornet-strong, for 
nine men hit the high notes and the low 
notes for it. There were Harold B. Adams, 
'16; Larry Doyle, '14E; Ben Philson; Ike 
Lovejoy, '17; Ben Bohall, '15; George Van 
Emburgh, '17, '19P&S; Charles Brieant, '15, 
'18P&S; Bill Pines, '17, and W. H. Wilson, 
'09, '17AM.
   The altos were Harold Helms, '16, J. E. 
Oster, and Oscar Laubscher, '15E. The 
trombones were played by such masters of 
musical accomplishment as Herbert Gran, '15, 
Harold Knight, '14J, and William Marquadt, 
'17E. 
   J. B. Relatteck, '16E, was the baritone 
and the tubas, so popular in modern music, 
were J. H. Sengstaken, '14E, and H. M. Lake.
   The rolls of the drums were rendered by 
James Howard, '15E, and G. M. Dawson, '14, 
'18P&S. 
   It was quite a band, that 1913-14 outfit. 
When it had uniforms they usually were too 
big or too small but such a handicap did not 
interfere with the band-playing. Rain or 
shine, cold or warm, the early Columbia 
bands offered a lot of fun to their members 
and associations were formed among the 
members that have formed [sic] that have 
lasted with increasing feeling, through the 
years. 

Captions: [Pictures can't be reproduced 
because the Columbia folk say that the pages 
are in worse condition than they actually are] 

The Band of a Bygone Era:

[eight fellows in derby hats, one having a 
significantly wider rim than the rest, 
holding their instruments at jaunty angles.]

   The 1904 group of musicians, regarded as 
the first band at Columbia. Left: Herman W. 
Albert, '05; Frederick Luce, '06; Earl C. 
Stevens, '06E; William Neidlinger, '07; 
Burnet C. Tuthill, '09; Walter W. Mott, '05; 
William F. Thoman, '06E, Henry H. Goodwin, 
'06E.

The 1913-14 Columbia Band

[A large group of fellows three-four rows 
deep (depending on how one counts), all 
wearing three piece suits. One bow tie. One 
black shirt (being on the director). No hats.]

   The alert-looking young men pictured 
above sometimes were known as "Walter 
Dwyer's Band" for it was he who organized 
the group in the Fall of 1913 to furnish 
music for Columbia athletic contests. 

[E=engineering, P&S=physicians and surgeons, 
L=law, J=journalism, AM=Arts Masters?]