Banding together to celebrate a new land. The Medina Community Band traces its beginnings back to 1859, when a group of local people got together (some with formal training - others without) to perform music for the community. That first "community band" was called The Medina Silver Cornet Band, probably since the instruments the musicians used were primarily "silver" cornets or percussion. Then, as now, the band performed on the public square. Medina's uptown park was set aside in 1817 and cleared in 1819. During the next two decades, the park was used as a parade ground for local militia and for town celebrations. In the 1840s, the square was enclosed with a white picket fence to keep cattle being driven to market off the square.
During the 136-years that the band has been in existence there have been 20 directors. The band probably existed at the pleasure of the square's business community, who often funded the season and encouraged patrons to attend the concerts. The performance night has changed over the years, in most cases at the urging of the business community, and season concerts have been given on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
It should be stated that the Medina Community Band was only one of many bands in Medina Community. Almost every town had its own band, and a just a few to mention were the Litchfield, Lodi, Seville, Spencer, and Wadsworth bands. There were also school bands (from both the city and county districts) and even a boy scout band (in Westfield Center). The Medina Community Band has been known as the Medina Silver Cornet Band, Medina Band, Grand Army of the Republic Band, Knights of Pythias Band, and now the Medina Community Band.
The size of the band varied from 15 to 20 musicians through the end of last century, into the 50 and 60s through the 1940-1960s, and now boasts almost 100 members on its personnel roster. It should be understood that the "band" did not always perform in the Gazebo. During those early years, the band played on various corners of the square. There was for a few years a band stand, which was destroyed by fire. The "bandstand" on the north side of the square was large enough to seat a 100 piece band (somewhat tightly, but would accommodate that size group), which the current Gazebo will only allow 40 to 45 players. The band itself determines "who will play" based on attendance at practice or business and vacation schedules. It is interesting to note that members of the band travel from all parts of Northeastern Ohio to play with the group. Entire families (from grandparents to grandchildren are members of the band and it is most common to find husbands and wives, or parents and children playing in the group.
Medina Community Band is sponsored by the Medina Community Band Association composed of members of The Medina Kiwanis Breakfast Club proudly supports the community band. Membership in Medina Community Band is open and there are no dues or auditions; however, members are expected to maintain a regular attendance. The band rehearses on Wednesday evening from 7p until 9p in the band room of the Medina High School (777 East Union Street, Medina) during the summer (June through July) and from 7p until 9p in the band room of the Highland High School (4150 Ridge Road, Medina) September through the end of May; providing three to four concerts during the fall, winter, and spring months both at home and on the road. The band also presents their popular summer series every Friday, June through July, in Medina's Uptown Park Gazebo. Each year the band presents at a holiday season concert, annual "Sousa Style Concert," and the popular "Sousa Concert" at EHOVE Career Center (Milan, OH).