In April 1985, a group of Marine Corps musicians met for the purpose of determining the feasibility of starting an organization of retired Marine Corps musicians. That meeting was well received and it was decided to establish an annual reunion. The name RETIRED MARINE CORPS MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION was selected and the following officers were elected to serve until the first annual reunion to be held the following year—1986: President - Charles Pearson, Vice President - William Black, Secretary - William Butcher, Treasurer - Stephen Litchey, Trustee -
John Tyson, Trustee - Peter Raubinger, Trustee - Thomas Barlow.The First Annual Reunion was held in April 1986 at Parris Island and the following officers were voted into office: President, Charles Pearson; Vice President, Joseph Masse; Secretary, Carl Bermender; Treasurer, Stephen Litchey; Trustee, Robert Griswold; Trustee, Peter Raubinger; Trustee, Thomas Barlow. At this first reunion, it was determined that it would be feasible to alternate meetings between the East Coast and the West Coast as soon as the membership grew large enough. The next reunion was held at Camp Lejeune in 1987, at which time minor amendments to the Articles and Regulations were accepted by vote of the membership.
The 1988 New Orleans reunion was noted for changing the name from “Retired” Marine Corps Musicians Association to Marine Corps Musicians Association, thereby including membership for all Marines--Bandsmen, Field Music, Bagpipers, Fifers, or otherwise—who had ever played in a Marine Corps musical unit. This meeting was the catalyst for combining East Coast and West Coast into one organization. The following year, the reunion was held at San Diego and had the largest attendance up to that time.