History

The Denver Municipal band is the oldest continuous-playing professional concert band in the U.S.

Around since before Colorado was a state, the Denver Municipal Band has been performing for the Denver area for more than a century.

We were founded in the late 1860s by Alex Sutherland, bugler at the "Charge of The Light Brigade." Surviving the ordeal, Sutherland settled in Denver where he was active in many of the city's early musical activities. Originally constituted as the GAR Post Band, it performed early municipally funded concerts throughout the 1870s and 80s, changing its name to the Denver Municipal Band in 1891 when it began its continuous history of Denver Municipal Funding.

historic picture of denver municipal band
denver municipal band in 1971
Credit: Denver Post (Denver Post via Getty Images)

The band has always been fully professional, hiring and playing with some of the best musicians of the time period, including being conducted by major bandsmen Frederick Innes, trombone soloist for Sousa, and the renowned solo cornetist, Hermann Bellstedt, Jr.(1858-1926). 

Timeline of Denver Municipal Band's History

1861 - Denver City Band formed

Alex Sutherland, bugler at the "Charge of The Light Brigade" survived and worked with various Denver musicians to bring culture to a Wild West mining town. (Denver!)

1891 - Became Denver Municipal Band

Denver agreed to guaranteed continuous funding to play at ceremonies and in parks during the summer.

1904 - Played the St. Louis Exposition

1915 - Played the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco

1916 - Teddy Roosevelt Speaks to Republican National Convention

The Denver Municipal Band played . Learn more about what Roosevelt (the first one) said to the Republic National Convention. Read the Denver Post.

1942 - Began Playing for the Armed Services Network KOA

1950s - Played with Jazz Great, Dave Brubeck

1960s - Played with Eartha Kitt

2004 - Barack Obama Speaks at Democratic National Convention

Former President Barack Obama came to Denver, and the Denver Municipal band played for him and thousands.

2018 - Played Taste of Ethiopia for 10,000+

The Denver Municipal Band was broadcast live in Ethiopia as we played in Denver!

2019 - Played Westminster Latino Festival

History was last modified: October 27th, 2019 by Tami Matthews