Two-year-old Anthony VanSchmus tries the trombone of Lawrence City Band member Tom Stidham, right, July 1999. Photo by Richard Gwin/Journal-World
Lawrence City Band:
Summer Concerts in the Park
This unique and historic band traces its roots
to August 1863 when Lawrence was a new community comprised
almost entirely of emigrants from New England. The New England
Emigrant Aid Society (from Boston) furnished the original
instruments, music, and uniforms, and the first performance
was presented on a beautiful summer evening, which, as fate
would have it, was the night before the infamous raid on
Lawrence by William Clark Quantrill and his men. In the raid
the next morning, all but one of the original band were
killed. Even with this rough beginning, band music was quickly
established as an important part of the culture of this
community, and today, some 137 years later, the Lawrence City
Band continues its tradition of presenting free concerts in
its picturesque gazebo bandstand in historic downtown South
Park on Wednesday nights in the summer.
The Lawrence City Band was designed the most popular
free summer entertainment in the community by the Lawrence Journal
World newspaper. People come from as far as 60 miles away every
week to attend their popular concerts.
The project is documented by text, letters, newspaper
articles, programs, flyers, and a CD of a 1982 concert.
Originally submitted by: Dennis Moore, Representative (3rd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.