In the summer of 1985, Marion Scott, then Director of Bands at Brevard Community College (BCC), offered a college course called “reading band.” He intended that this provide a performance outlet for adult musicians in the area and that the group form a nucleus of a Community Band in the fall. Approximately 30 players met each Wednesday during the summer term and sight-read through a variety of selections. Participants were so enthusiastic that they asked Mr. Scott to extend these sessions past the official end of the BCC summer session.
During that summer an organizing committee was formed that elected officers and proceeded to plan for the Community Band to begin in the fall. Brevard Community College made a major commitment of support to the Band, and in return, it was agreed that the Band would list BCC as its sponsor. A Community Band course would be offered on both a credit and a non-credit basis.
The first official rehearsal of The Community Band of Brevard was held on 28 August 1985, with over 80 musicians present. This overwhelming response indicated both that there was a need for and that resources were available in the community to sustain a first-rate performing band in Brevard County.
Since then, the Band has given well over 150 performances to the general public, with nearly all of them being free. The Band accepts donations at these concerts to sustain and pay for operating expenses.
The Community Band of Brevard takes seriously its responsibility to provide entertaining concerts at the highest level of quality. That has always been our goal, but in June, 1992 the Band’s members formally committed to Philosophy, Purpose, and Vision statements which succinctly describe the operating principles that govern the Band and have helped produce a high-quality ensemble. That commitment brought us several invitational performances of which we are very proud. Those include: Florida Music Educators Convention (Tampa, January 1989); American School Band Directors Association National Convention (Orlando, July 1989); Florida Bandmasters Association Summer Convention (Ocala, July 1993 and Ocala, July 1997); and the Association of Concert Bands National Convention (Gainesville, April 1995).
The Band is also exceedingly proud to have been awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll Award by the John Philip Sousa Foundation in 1999. The Sudler Silver Scroll is North America’s most prestigious award for community concert bands. The purpose of the award is “To identify, recognize and honor those community bands that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and which have played a significant and leading role, year after year in the cultural and musical environment of their communities.”
In December of 2008, the Band faced its greatest challenge when the sponsorship of BCC was withdrawn and the Board of Directors made the decision to continue as an independent, non-profit organization. In September of 2009, the Band officially gained its 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.
Most of our concerts have a theme upon which the entire program focuses. Our concerts have had many themes including Mozart, Sousa, Tchaikovsky, American Composers, Movie Music, Broadway, Armed Forces Salute and many more. Those themes often lead us to include exceedingly difficult works, which we willingly do, and to include special guest artists which we actively seek (e.g. a dancer from the Kirov Ballet and a violin soloist were in our Tchaikovsky concert). These facts exemplify the commitments of our members and Board of Directors to our purpose which is stated above.
The Band gives several concerts throughout the year. Each program is planned to please a variety of musical tastes. The Band’s membership, currently numbering about 60, includes people of all ages representing many occupations. If you wish more information about the Band, or wish to join, please call 321-338-6210.