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The Roma Band was founded in Boston in 1919 by Italian immigrants. The purpose of the band was and is to play at religious feasts in Boston's North End. The band has played continuously except during the War Years (1942-1945) when the North End was used as a military area and due to the fact that Italy was then our enemy. Rumor has it that most of the players suddenly became Portuguese and simply walked over to the neighboring city of Cambridge. (Portugal was a a neutral country) What makes the band especially interesting is that the feasts held now more mirror the traditional feast once held in Italy during the days of the King. Money is pinned upon sacred icons as it is lowered from windows. A prepared donation is called a calendar which can contain hundreds of dollars. Sometimes money is lowered in rolls while the band continuously plays hoping inside that the money will end (as their lips tire) while the society hopes it never ends. The band will traditionally play the MarciaReale when a significant gift is offered. This form of feast is no longer performed or condoned in modern Italy. In 1988 the band went to Washington DC to play in a cultural event for the Smithsonian Institution.

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