Sterling Municipal Symphony Band - Sterling, Illinois

The Sterling Silver Cornet Band was active in the 1850s.  The band
participated  in the first Republican Rally to be held in Whiteside County
on July 18, 1856. The main orator was Abraham Lincoln.  
The next band organized was the Keystone Band, sponsored by Keystone
Manufacturing in the late 1870s. This band was rated the best in Illinois in a
contest held in Dixon. The band was under the direction of John Kadel for 21
years. Kadel also directed the 6th Regimental Band of Illinois at the time of the
Spanish-American War.

The Sterling Municipal Band was organized and first directed by  Jake
Hitzelberger, a former circus band director, around the turn of the century.
Mr. Hitzelberger played Taps at the burial of his predecessor, John Kadel.

Sterling Municipal Band Conductors

1919 - Jake Hitzelberger
1928 - Prof. Lawrence DeArvill
1929 - Capt. J. R. Jack
1934 - Kenneth M. Bailey
1937 - J.J. Richards
1946 - Henry Burch
1949 - C. Cloyd Myers
1974 - G. Jack Schuler
1988 - Lance H. Carter
2003 - Jon P. Jame
s

Dedication Day Events

a  concert was presented by seven area school bands as follows:

Sterling St. Mary’s band, J.J. Richards
Milledgeville, Ralph Fahrney
Wallace school, K.M. Bailey
Chadwick, W.R. Fuller
Polo, Henry W. Burch
Sterling,Gunner Benson
Morrison, Henry W. Burch

That evening a dinner was hosted by the Sterling-Rock Falls Chamber of
Commerce, followed by the Mendelssohn Treble Clef Chorus of Sterling,
directed by Mrs. Muriel Phelps. The dedication exercises that followed were
opened by the playing of Mr. Richards' latest march, “Salute to Sterling”
dedicated to Mr. Grandon in recognition to his great service to the city of
Sterling. Mr. Grandon personally presented the Civic Center to the city of
Sterling. Mayor W.E. Long accepted the center for the city and expressed the
appreciation of the whole community for Mr. Grandon’s generous gift.

The Sterling Municipal Band’s concert that evening included vocal selections
by Dora Andreas Wiles and the following list of guest conductors: Capt. H.C.
Bronson, director of the 129th Illinois Infantry Band; Joe Bergeim,
Milwaukee; Henry Restorff, composer and soloist with the Gilmore Band;
Ray Dvorak, Director of the University of Wisconsin Bands; A.R.
McCallister, Joliet; Karl King, world famous composer; Clate Chenette,
Ames Iowa.

The earliest Sterling Bands performed at
ground level or on simply constructed
platforms.

The first permanent bandstand was
erected before the turn of the century and
was located in the northwest quarter
of Central Park.

The current band shell came about as a
result of an acquaintance between
J.J. Richards and
D.W. Grandon.  

J.J. “Johnny” Richards came to Sterling
in 1936. Mr. Richards did a great deal
for music in our community; he had a
personal magnetism that drew a large
following of musicians and those
interested in music to him.

He first met D. W. Grandon in St.
Petersburg Florida where Mr. Grandon
liked to vacation.

They renewed their acquaintance when
Mr. Richards came to Sterling.
Mr. Richards convinced Mr. Grandon
that Sterling needed
an up-to-date bandstand.

By his own admission, this was one of  
D. W. Grandon’s most loved projects and
J. J. Richards said that the completion of
the Grandon Civic Center was one of the
most satisfying experiences in his career
as a musician.  
Photo compliments of The Sterling - Rock Falls Historical Society
G. Bradley Publishing, Inc.
Grandon Civic Center Dedication
Wednesday July 20th, 1938
D.W.Grandon's Dream
Picture Provided by Marilyn Anderson, Sterling Public Library
We've Come A Long Way To Get Where We Are Today!
The Sterling Municipal Band in
Lawrence Park (year undetermined)
The Sterling Municipal Band Today
Sterling Band Shell
Central Park
Keystone Band
Spanish American War
Military Band - 6th Regimental
Sterling, Illinois  A Fof M Military Band
American Federation of Musicians  
Sterling Band
Sterling City Band
Mendelssohn Treble Clef Chorus
Mrs. Muriel Phelps, Director
Sterling Illinois Municipal Band 1938
Sterling Municipal Band
Lawrence Park
Academy of Music Orchestra
Sterling, IL
Sterling Municipal Band
Cloyd Myers Director
1956
Sterling     Municipal    Band