Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Bruce Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. Todd Cranson

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Bucklin


Felix Vinatieri, Robert Marek, Custer, Military Bands


This paper examines the life, compositions, and accomplishments of Italian-born composer and musician Felix Vinatieri. Vinatieri is notable for his contribution to the American operatic tradition as well as for his role as bandmaster for George Armstrong Custer during the Black Hills Expedition of 1875. Despite his cultural importance, the few works about Vinatieri and their limited scope make a comprehensive study necessary. When taken as a whole, the content and quality of Vinatieri’s compositions demonstrate he is a composer worth remembering and his music is still deserving of being played today.



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