A brief history of the Denver Concert Band

french hornIn 1961, a group of adult friends were sitting around talking about their days growing up. They reminisced about music experiences they wanted to re-live. Others said they never had a chance to play music as children but would love to try as adults.

The talk soon turned into action. Several of them got instruments, and Dr. James DeRoos and Harold and Viola Topping approached Stan Limburg of Denver Christian High School to lead and teach them.

In the early years, home basements were used as rehearsal spaces. At one time the 20-member band even rehearsed in the reception area of Dr. DeRoos’ medical clinic!

In the mid-sixties, the band started to grow in size and popularity. The name was changed from “The South Denver Community Band” to “The Denver Concert Band, Inc.”, and the group also became a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and created a board of directors.

In 1968 and under the guidance of Frank Parce, the DCB performed its first formal concert at Grant Junior High School in Denver. For the 32 musicians in the band, it was a dream come true. That summer, the band also added a full schedule of “Summer Pops” concerts in Washington Park.

In 1972, the DCB was the first adult band to be invited to perform at the Colorado Music Educator’s Conference (CMEA) in Colorado Springs. And in 1975, the DCB performed for Governor Lamm’s inauguration at the State Capitol.

In 1977, the band created the “Young Artist” Scholarship Competition to encourage high school seniors to pursue music performance careers.

In 1986, during its 25th Anniversary year, the band was 70 members strong and thriving. That year, they became the first community band to perform for state music educators at the national convention of The American Bandmasters Association.

Denver Concert BandThe DCB found a home at the Central Presbyterian Church in the 1990s. Conductors Wayne Bailey and Michael Schaff brought a strong professional discipline to the band. Current maestro Jacinda Bouton has served the band for 16 years.

Now in its 53rd year, the 90-member band regularly performs in front of tens of thousands of Coloradans every year. In addition to its formal and summer concert series around the Denver metropolitan area, the band performs across the state ­ from Estes Park in the north, to Leadville in the west, to Colorado Springs in the south, to Brush and Vernon in the east. The band also has traveled across the nation and around the globe to Switzerland, the British Isles, and France & Germany.

Denver Concert Band in Switzerland
Denver Concert Band in Lucerne, Switzerland – 1993
Denver Concert Band at Omaha Beach
Band members at Omaha Beach (2004) France/Germany tour