During its 126 year history, DeMoulin Bros. & Co. of Greenville, IL has manufactured products for fraternal lodges, circuses, celebrities, and marching bands around the world. The DeMoulin Museum, which showcases the company’s diverse history, will soon add a permanent display telling another remarkable chapter. The Atlanta Olympic Band (AOB) uniforms, one of the factory’s most prestigious projects, will be spotlighted in the display to be unveiled during a ceremony Saturday, June 2.
Created in 1992 to promote the upcoming Olympics in Atlanta, the band was comprised of band students across Georgia, who auditioned for the AOB. Members had to be at least 16 years of age, a Georgia resident or full-time student in a Georgia college/university, and active in their high school or college’s music program. Over the four years of its existence, around 600 kids performed in the AOB with only 25 of those participating from start to finish.
The band performed at President Clinton’s first inaugural, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, half-time of an Atlanta Falcons game, and several other functions prior to the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics.
For DeMoulin Bros., the band uniforms were manufactured during its 100th anniversary year. One of the uniforms was displayed that summer during an open house held to celebrate the centennial. In an interview conducted in July 1992, Dick DeMoulin, then company president, described the uniforms as “very colorful and very bright” with sleeve caps “to give a bigger stronger image on television.” The uniforms were highlighted by a white, gold, and green sash and the five-color Olympic emblem on the breast.
Since opening in 2010, the DeMoulin Museum has hoped to create a display showcasing the Atlanta Olympic Band uniforms. Last year, DeMoulin Museum Curator John Goldsmith contacted Jill (Womack) Sewell, a member of the AOB, and the band’s historian/archivist. Sewell has been working with Goldsmith on securing uniforms, photos, and other artifacts related to the band. “Jill’s love for the Atlanta Olympic Band is infectious,” Goldsmith explained. “She has helped us create what will become a signature display for the DeMoulin Museum.”
The public is welcome to the unveiling of the display on Saturday, June 2. Members of the AOB will be on hand at 10:30 a.m. for a question/answer session with the audience, followed by the unveiling at 11:00 a.m., then a reception with refreshments. Admission is free. The DeMoulin Museum is located at 205 S. Prairie St. in Greenville, IL. For more information, visit their website at www.demoulinmuseum.org or call (618) 664-4115.