History Of The Bands

4th-of-July-Concert-walla-walla

Band History

Founded in 1989 as the Walla Walla Community Band, the organization has been in existence continuously since its formation.  The impetus came from adult community members seeking a way to play band music for their own as well as the community’s enjoyment.  Mark Marty and Larry Pfefferle  (Corps of Engineers employees) were key organizers in the beginning. The group initially had about 30 members and has grown to 80 plus members today. The group was re-named the Walla Walla Valley Bands in 2006 and renewed its 501(c) 3 not for profit tax status in 2006.  The name was changed to better reflect the diversity of the geographic area from which the members are drawn. Currently the Walla Walla Valley bands include a Concert band The Main Street and Mill Creek jazz ensembles.

 

Past performances by the Band include:

  • The Milton-Freewater Summer Music Series
  • The Summer Music series sponsored by the Walla Walla Downtown Foundation
  • The Art Train in Walla Walla
  • The 100th anniversary celebration for Walla Walla General Hospital
  • The downtown reception for Great Race participants in 2005
  • Pep Band for Whitman College basketball games
  • The Walla Walla Sweets baseball team
  • The Festival of Lights Parade in downtown Walla Walla
  • Performed at the National Christmas Tree reception in 2006.
  • A patriotic concert at the Veterans Home.

Individual members have donated time and talent to play for the Eddie McMurrow Horse Show and Taps at numerous area funerals.

Many members are musically active in events throughout their communities and other charities and religious groups.

The Bands have participated in joint concerts with the Columbia Basin College Concert band, the Community band festival in Lewiston and the Yakima Community Concert band.

 

Throughout the years conductors have been drawn from the area and have included Dale Newby (our first director), Bill Gilbert, Glen Mitchell, Meredith Mitchell, Linda Howell, Gene Alexander, Glen Gilbreath, Ron McHenry, Trudy Schrader, Jackson Maberry and others.  Gary Gemberling is the current conductor.