Bloomington Community Band
The Bloomington Community Band is made up of local concert band enthusiasts. It plays at many civic events and festivals in Bloomington and surrounding communities, and welcomes new members at any time.
Each Fourth of July, the band provides entertainment prior to the start of the parade. Also traditional are summer concerts in the parks, at the Farmers Market, and at local retirement communities. The band performs holiday concerts between Thanksgiving and Christmas at College Mall and other locations.
Smaller groups affiliated with the BCB include a Dixieland band, a German band, a swing band, and a trombone group.
Anyone interested in playing with the band or one of the smaller groups is encouraged to contact Gary Wiggins, by email or at 812-332-6861.
The current Bloomington Community Band was founded in 1978. However Bloomington has had a community band with some interruptions as far back as 1838, when Austin Seward and his sons organized a band. That band played at many patriotic and collegiate occasions, including the marshalling of troops for the Mexican war.
In 1850 a band known as the "Silver Band" was organized by some of the Sewards, and a band known as the Mechanics' Band was organized in 1872 and reorganized in 1886. In 1898 war again broke out, and the band was no more until reorganized again in 1902, this time as the Bloomington Band.
In the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's, the band shared an address on the north side of the square with the Bloomington Opera Theater. After World War II until 1963, the Bloomington Civic Band was in existence under the direction of Carl Frye, and performed Thursday evening concerts in 3rd Street Park. The band ceased to exist around 1970, but in 1978 the Indiana Arts Commission provided a grant to jump start the current band, first directed by Newell H. Long. Subsequent music directors were Tim Moore and Ron Sebben. Dr. Joe Car has long been the associate music director of the group. Beginning in 2016, the band implemented an arrangement with the IU Jacobs School of Music, whereby a graduate student in the conducting program serves as the music director. First to hold that position was Ryan Yahl.