Centennial

Making musical history for 100 years.

The Charlottesville Band has grown from an enthusiastic, but inexperienced, group of citizen musicians in 1922 to an accomplished and dedicated team of women and men today. Seven music directors have guided hundreds of Band members through the years, expanding the musical repertoire and diversifying the membership along the way. The Band persisted through the highs and lows of the 20th century and continues to serve our community in the 21st. Leading up to our Centennial celebration in 2022, we invite you to check out some highlights from the Band’s past 100 years. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our blog, Marching Through History.

1922

THE BAND IS FOUNDED
The Band forms as the Municipal Band of Charlottesville, Inc., under the direction of Harry Lowe. Within just a year or two, the Band would be regularly performing for local events and traveling throughout Virginia and the South, winning cash prizes, trophies and accolades all along the way.
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1957

WOMEN ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE BAND
At director Sharon Hoose’s recommendation, women are admitted to the Band for the first time in its history. Eighteen women join during 1957, including Peggy Madison, who is still playing in the Band today. In the years since 1957, there have been just under 600 female members of the Band.

1963

The Band performs at the first annual Naturalization ceremony at Monticello
Sir John Menzies, longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia, is the guest speaker. The Band has performed at every Naturalization Ceremony since.
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1976

THE BAND PERFORMS FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH II
The Band provides musical entertainment during the festivities surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Charlottesville to commemorate the United States’ bicentennial. It is the largest crowd the Band has ever played for up to this point.

1983

THE BAND ADMITS ITS 1,000TH MEMBER
He is percussionist Jeff L.Wright, who would play in the Band for seven years.
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2000

CONSTRUCTION OF THE MUNICIPAL ARTS CENTER IS COMPLETED
The Band holds its first official rehearsal in the new Municipal Arts Center, designed by Band member Jack Laramore and built by Band member Joe Goldsmith. This is the Band’s first permanent home since its founding 78 years before.

2010

First J.W. Simmons solo competition is held
Clarinetist Anthony Poehailos of Monticello High School wins the first-ever James W. Simmons Solo Competition & The Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship for Young Musicians. He performs Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet with the Band at its fall concert.
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2017

Matching Grant Success
The Band announces the receipt of an anonymous $500,000 matching grant challenge to the Band, provided the Band can raise an equal amount by December 30th. The Band announces its success and is presented with a $1,000,000 check at its annual holiday concert.

2020

THE BAND IN A PANDEMIC
2020 marks the first year in The Band’s history that the group did not perform as a whole. The Band’s collection of small ensembles took to the streets (literally) and performed at socially distanced outdoor performances, boosting community morale and keeping our local music scene vibrant.
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2022

CENTENNIAL YEAR
The Band, newly renamed The Charlottesville Band—or Cville Band for short—will memorialize its 100th consecutive year in operation. We can’t wait to celebrate this momentous occasion with you!