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Community Concert Bands in Bloomington (From the 19 th Century to the Present) Gary Wiggins Monroe County History Center November 17, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Concert Bands in Bloomington (From the 19 th Century to the Present) Gary Wiggins Monroe County History Center November 17, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Concert Bands in Bloomington (From the 19 th Century to the Present) Gary Wiggins Monroe County History Center November 17, 2011

2 Overview of the Talk Characteristics of community bands Origins of community bands The Sewards and the early history of community bands in Bloomington Newell Long and the current Bloomington Community Band Funding of Community Bands Bloomington Brass Band (if time permits)

3 What is a community concert band? Community-based ensemble of wind (woodwind and brass) and percussion players Often bears the name of the town in which they play (and may be sponsored by it) Some sponsored by companies, clubs, etc. ~625 company musical units in 1929 Perfect Circle Band (Hagerstown, IN) Detroit Diesel Allison Band (Indianapolis, IN) Lions Club Band (Urbana, IL) Louisville Shriners Band

4 Recent Development Community band affiliation with an academic institution Recent conversation with IVY Tech

5 Number of Community Bands in the United States Estimated 10,000 bands in the US in 1889 Perhaps 2,500 community bands today in the US

6 Motivation to Play in a Community Band Members not motivated by financial gain or academic scholarship Some bands pay their musicians and attract professional musicians Musicians play largely for enjoyment rather than as a profession Amateur performers, making music for pure enjoyment--true hallmark of the community band

7 Factors Influencing Participation in a Community Band: Cavitt, 2005 Surveyed 401 members in Texas, Michigan, and California Typical member is over 35 years old College-educated professional Earns a middle income Lives in the suburbs Enjoyment, fun, and social interaction The music they play is the most enjoyable aspect of being in the band

8 Typical Program Open with the national anthem May have individual band member stand for a solo in the midst of a piece May feature a group or section out front Repertoire includes: original wind compositions arranged classical items light music popular tunes marches often mix of various genres on a single program Plays to audiences of various socio-economic strata

9 Origins, Flowering, Decline, and Rejuvenation of Community Bands Turkish bands: percussion instruments Militia or Military Bands US Marine Band formed in 1798 German Moravians in Pennsylvania, NC, and elsewhere 19 th C. developments in instrumentation War times tended to increase their popularity After WWI, popularity declined Replaced by school music programs Pool of amateur musicians feed into community bands Late 20 th C. Revival of community band interest

10 John Philip Sousa,

11 Touring Professional Bands Golden Age of Bands: late 19th – early 20 th century (~ ~1920) Gilmore, Sousa, and Pryor Bands Patrick S. Gilmore ( ) – Father of the American Band (1858) When Johnny Comes Marching Home John Philip Sousa ( ) Arthur W. Pryor ( ) Fred A. Jewell ( )

12 Austin Seward, Organized the first band in Bloomington Vulcanus Allheart Blacksmith who created the courthouse fish Learned to play flute from Baynard Rush Hall With Prof. E. Elliot, organized the first band at IU (?) sometime after 1833 Uncertainty about start date of IU band Many Sewards in Bloomington town bands

13 Earliest Bands in Bloomington NameConductor(s)Began Seward Band 1John Seward1838 Seward Band 2John Seward1843 Silver BandJames Seward1850 Mechanics Band 1Charles Voss/ William H. Seward 1869

14 Concert of September 28, 1847 Duke of Holsteins March Sweet is the Vale Union March from Norma Washingtons Grand March Trenton March Source: Letter of April 12, 1950 from Oscar Burlap, read in the Band folder at the IU Archives

15 W. B. Seward, Conductor, 1865

16 Late 19 th Century Bloomington Bands NameConductorBegan Empire BandJohn Mack~1875 Mechanics Band 2William H. Seward1886 Opery House Band?????? (co-existed with the Mechanics Band for a while Hoosier Charm BandJohn Marlin~1891 small bandWilliam Pace1898 (formed while the 1st Regiment Band was away)

17 City Cornet Band, 1879

18 Bloomington Mechanics Band, 1886

19 Hoosier Charm Band, 1891

20 Bloomington Town Band, 1911

21 Thursday Band Nights, 1886-??? Began with the Mechanics Band in 1886 Led by William H. Seward, Concerts from permanent bandstand in SW corner of courthouse yard Later portable bandstand moved in rotation to each corner of the square

22 Third Street Park Bandshell Dedication, August 22, 1928 March: The Kentucky Derby Novelette: Moonlight in Florida Waltz song: Laugh, Clown, LaughLaugh, Clown, Laugh Medley: Victor Hugos Favorites Fox Trot: Who Wouldnt Be Blue Waltzes: Roseland Fox Trot: Old Man Sunshine March: Chicago Marine Band The Star Spangled Banner

23 20 th -Century Bloomington Bands NameConductor(s)Began Bloomington City Band??? Waterbury/ Wylie Cathcart/ Archie Warner/ Charles Cosner/ Alva Hughes/ ~1901 Bloomington Town BandHenry (Harry) O. Crigler ~1941 (definitely gone by 1949) Bloomington Civic BandCarl Frye~ ~ 1963 Bloomington BandAl Olson/ ??? ~1970 Bloomington Community Band Newell Long/ Tim Moore/ Joe Car

24 Newell H. Long Feb 12, 1905 – Jan 4, 1999 Conductor, BHS Band, Conductor, University School Band, IU School of Music, Associate Conductor of Bands Chairman, Undergraduate Division, Music Education Department Assistant Dean Founding Director, Bloomington Community Band, Fellow, Phi Beta Mu National Bandmasters Hall of Fame, 1977 Indiana Music Educators Association Hoosier Musician of the Year, 1985

25 Newell & Eleanors Musical Skits

26 From Newell and Eleanor The more we team together, together, together, The more we team together, the stronger well be. This ending is choral, But it has a moral: When people work together They taste victory. Source: Final chorus in The Music Hater An Instant Opera in One Act by Newell and Eleanor Long.

27 Earliest Photo of Todays BCB

28 Newell Long at 3 rd St. Park Bandstand Dedication, 1993

29 BCB at Courthouse, ~1995

30 Guest Conductors of the BCB Stephen W. Pratt (2009) Gary R. Wishmeyer (2010) Craig Paré (2011)

31 BCB at 3 rd Street Park, 6/23/11

32 Musicianship Workshops Eugene Rousseau, Dominic Spera, Carl Lenthe (2009) Thomas Walsh, Howard Klug, Gary Gray, Edmund Cord, Mark Woodring, Richard Seraphinoff, Kevin Bobo, Wilber England, Norman Hanson, Maria Harman, Will Petersen, Peter Brockman, Selena Yamamoto, Guy Hardy (pro bono) ( )

33 Venues for the Bloomington Community Band About 20 concerts per year in Bloomington and surrounding areas Arts fairs Civic events (parades, dedications, etc.) Retirement Homes College Mall City and State Parks

34 BCB at McCormicks Creek State Park, July 16, 2011

35 BCB at Spring Mill State Park August 20, 2011

36 2010 BCB Awards Be More Award for Arts and Cultural Organizations (Bloomington Volunteer Network) Cassady Electric Volunteer of the Year Award (Downtown Bloomington, Inc.) Jointly with the Bloomington Brass Band

37 Brass Bands Almost always associated with factories or industry in Britain and Europe Synonymous with Silver Band? No trumpets or French horns Usually members Highly competitive

38 Bloomington Brass Band Formed ~1983 by David Whitt, initially as an unofficial IU group Other conductors, : David Pickett, Ran Whittle, Jeff Westphal Al Olson then took over as conductor Plays ~ 20 concerts per year with all kinds of music, not just Brass Band music Some BCB members play with the BBB Average size of the band: ~20-22 members

39 Funding of the BCB in the 1890s Organized ten years ago, in all that time, the only outside aid it has ever had is the sum of $50 which the city council appropriated to assist in building the band stand. (Bloomington World, 24 June 1896) Restaurant in a baggage car on the Monon to Chicago to raise money for music.

40 Funding of the BCB, 1890s -1920s Weekly contributions from downtown businesses in the early days Amounted to $20 to $25 a week (Fred A. Seward) Council Votes $500 to Band: 1920 A good band is always a strong factor in the uplift of a community, and it should be supported by general taxation instead of by a few professional and business men. (Bloomington Daily Telephone, 22 September 1920) Support from a small property tax and the Community Chest: 1940 (Fred A. Seward)

41 Recent Funding Crises Among Community Bands Lack of Funding Threatens Community Bands –ABC News August 1, 2010 Adrian City (MI) Band: city cut $7,530 Decatur, IL: funding reduced $15,000 St. Cloud, MN: reduced from $40K to $15K Results of widespread funding cuts: Fewer shows Musicians playing for free Bands have to raise money or seek business partnerships

42 Recent Funding of the BCB Lowes Hot Dog Stand Dues: $25 instituted in 2009 Member donations for rehearsal space Indiana Arts Commission grants, Musicianship workshops Large and small donations In-kind donations (rehearsal space and library storage) Community Foundation Endowment Bloomington Community Band Fund: $10,000 Matchstick Initiative 2012: $47,500 goal

43 Newell Long Conductors Cup

44 Candidate for Conductor

45 Parting Thought... It is difficult to trust anyone whose instrument changes shape as he plays it!!!

46 Bibliography: Bloomington Duncan, H. C. Austin Seward. Indiana Magazine of History, v. 4, no. 3, September 1908, pp (accessed 3 Nov 2011) Mathiesen, Penelope. The Sewards and Bloomington Bands. Monroe County Historian, October 2008, pp Reed, Bennett P. Bloomington Band of Bloomington Daily Herald, 1949?. (Our Bloomington of Yesteryear, no. 26) Sanders, Chauncey. The Development of Indianas Marching Hundred Since Indiana Alumni Magazine, v. 2, November 1939, pp , 30. Seward, Fred A. [Paper on town bands in Bloomington read before the Monroe County Historical Society, Jan 11, 1940] (summary) on-the-bcb-and-its-predecessors/fred-seward-paper-mchs-january / (full text) Wiggins, Gary. History of the Bloomington Community Band. Monroe County Historian, August 2011, pp. 4, 7. Bloomington Bands: Something About the Tooters of Long Ago. Bloomington World, 24 June Bloomington Community Band History Web Pages.

47 Bibliography: General Berry, Lemuel. A Programmatic Approach Towards Organizing a Brass or Community Band. Woodwind, Brass, & Percussion, v. 21 no. 7, November 1982, pp Cavitt, Mary Ellen. Factors Influencing Participation in Community Bands. Journal of Band Research, v. 41, no. 1, Fall 2005, pp Hansen, Richard K. The American Wind Band: A Cultural History. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., Hartz, James Michael. The American Community Band: History and Development. MA Thesis, Marshall University, (accessed 3 Nov 2011) LeCroy, Hoyt F. Community-Based Music Education: Industrial Bands in the American South. Journal of Research in Music Education, v. 46, no. 2, 1998, Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. A Short History of Wind Bands. Connexions (accessed 3 Nov 2011) Unze, David. Lack of Funding Threatens Community Bands. ABC News August 1, bands/story?id= (accessed 3 Nov 2011) Community Band. eNotes (accessed 3 Nov 2011) Is There a Strong Future for Community Bands? Creevas World 2.0, August 23, (accessed 8 November 2011)

48 Professional Organizations & Sources of Music Association of Concert Bands National Band Association North American Brass Band Association Chatfield Brass Band & Music Lending Library Band Music PDF Library (Golden Age) Arkansas Valley Wind & Percussion Ensemble


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