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Articles written by Gary L. Gillett


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  • City bands embodied early Montana communities

    Gary L. Gillett, Missoula City Band, Missoula Community Big Band|Updated Jan 24, 2019

    Note: This is excerpted from "The Missoula City Band: Stories in Time." By the end of the 19th century, the Garden City Band had improved enough to perform evening concerts regularly. They also found themselves accompanying fraternal organizations like the Modern Woodmen of America to conventions, playing in July 4 parades, following ball teams "up the 'Root" [the Bitterroot Valley] and continuing their annual performances at the fair. In April 1904, the band initiated the new...

  • City bands embodied early Montana communities

    Gary L. Gillett, Missoula City Band, Missoula Community Big Band|Updated Jan 17, 2019

    Note: This is excerpted from "The Missoula City Band: Stories in Time." By the mid-1890s, the City Band had emerged as the default 'go-to' organization in town for civic events. By 1894, it played at virtually every public function. On Oct. 17, 1894, Republicans opened their campaign at the new Bennett Opera House (across the street from the now razed historic Missoula Mercantile) with "the blaze of bonfires, the boom of anvils, and the melodious and stirring melodies by The...

  • City bands embodied early Montana communities

    Gary L. Gillett, Missoula City Band, Missoula Community Big Band|Updated Jan 10, 2019

    The history of the Missoula City Band in many ways mirrors the history of Missoula, Montana. Since Missoula's virtual beginning – the time Montana was only a territory and not yet a state – the Missoula City Band played. Through two world wars and the Great Depression, through a surge of pioneers moving west and into contemporary times, its horns blew, reeds vibrated, drummers drummed and cymbals crashed. And our community has enjoyed many great performances. "The Mis...

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