The Burlington Municipal Band was formed when the the lubbers of the Orchard City Band under "Little Frank" Sherratt and the scurvy dogs of Fischer's Band under "J. Henri" Fischer combined.  We've plundered several photographs of the Orchard City Band, the earliest of which dates from 1911, from ships of the Des Moines County Historical Society.  There be one photo of Fischer's Band, but unfortunately we have identified only one member, cornet player Peter Hahn..  Included also are photos of the Burlington Municipal Band taken in 1945, 1947 and 1948.  Personnel and dates are listed with the photos when we be knowin' this information.  We hope that family and friends of those pictured will come forward with information about the band's early history.
This website is now maintained by members of the Burlington Municipal Band.
We thank the staff at the Burlington Public Library for the original site design.
Burlington Municipal Band History
Message from Jim Priebe ("Yo ho ho") --
The Orchard City Band on the Court House Steps in 1911.
(with personnel identified)
When I became a member of the band in 1966, many of the bilge rats listed in the 1940's photos were still active, and two of the crew pictured with the Orchard City Band, Ralph Zaiser and Ward Vance, were still playing. They spoke with familiarity of individuals who were a vital part of the musical scene of our community in the nineteenth century. As we enter the twenty-first century, we present these photographs with a sense of being a part of a great continuity of effort and tradition.
The Orchard City Band at the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Convention, June 17-19, 1914
(with personnel identified)
The Orchard City Band at the F.O.E. (Fraternal Order of Eagles)
State Convention held in Muscatine in 1916.
(with personnel identified)
Orchard City Band at a fish fry on Big Island (date unknown)
(with personnel identified)
Fischer's Band (date and personnel unknown)
The Burlington Municipal Band appearing at a community picnic in Perkins Park in 1947. Maurice Wright conducting. (Personnel unknown)
The Burlington Municipal Band in Memorial Auditorium in 1948
(with personnel list)
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We are interested in finding additional photos of the band or band members which have historic or human interest value to include on this web page. If you have such a photo or photos, and would be willin' to share them, please contact me at 752-7305. You will, of course, get the photo back without bein' harmed, and we will gladly credit our source.
The Burlington Municipal Band in 1945
(with personnel list)
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The Orchard City Band at an Elks Parade in 1913
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(Note:  To speed loading of this web page, we have replaced the original photos with quicker-loading "thumbnail" versions.  Click on the thumbnails to view each photo full-size.)
We were pleased to receive the following photos from former band member Paul Zaiser of Cedar Falls, Iowa:
Paul, Mark, and Ralph Zaiser in new uniforms
Ralph Zaiser and Ralph Vengaus with Maurice Wright
Old Bandstand in Crapo Park ca. 1940
Warren Johnson, Ralph Zaiser, A.P. (Adie) Meyer,
and Ernest Kembitzky in old band uniforms
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"Talk Like a Pirate" Day
is September 19!