Civic Band Overview

The Bloomfield Civic Band was “born” on Friday, March 1, 1946, when more than 20 people brought music stands to the high school cafeteria. Sponsored by the Bloomfield Federation of Music, it joined its sister organizations the Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus, the Mandolin Orchestra, and the Men’s Glee Club. The purpose was twofold: to give playing opportunities to those who wished them, and to provide the community with enjoyable musical experiences. Directed by Walter Kurkewicz, the band made its debut July 4, 1946 in Bloomfield’s “Welcome Home Celebration,” playing for memorial services in the morning and a parade in the afternoon. Park concerts followed during the summer, and the first indoor performance was held Sunday, January 19, 1947.

Upon the retirement of Walter Kurkewicz in 1961, Ray Hartman, director of the high school band, was named to the post. Under his leadership the band’s membership grew, and its repertoire enlarged to include 20th century compositions. High school students were urged to participate, and one of the highlights of the 1960’s was a trip to the NY World’s Fair where the band performed at the NJ Pavilion.

Dr. Morton Achter of Bloomfield College replaced the retiring Hartman for one year. There were some problems, though, and the band ranks begin to dwindle.

When Dominick Ferrara III stepped on the podium in September, 1972, he found a very loyal core of 15-20 musicians eager to help him rebuild the band. A devotee of band music, he has led the Civic Band through yet another metamorphosis. Today the band plays a wide variety of music, often utilizing vocal and instrumental soloists.

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