About the Band
The Municipal Band was formed in 1976 with a group of approximately 80 amateur and semi-professional band members. Preforming four free indoor concerts per year, the band’s repertoire ranges from pop songs to standard band classics, including overtures, transcriptions, and marches. The free concerts are held in State College Area School District facilities, and concert locations are announced in advance. Donations for the band are gratefully accepted at the door. Everyone is welcome!
- Valentine's Day Concert
A Season of Love
February 10, 3 PM
Mount Nittany Middle School
- Spring Concert
A Season of Hope
March 24, 3 PM
Park Forest Middle School
- Mother's Day Concert
A Season of Joy
May 12, 3 PM
Mount Nittany Middle School
The State College Area Municipal Band became a year-round continuing performing organization in 1981. Prior to 1981 the band played occasional concerts for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. The first band, records indicate, was organized to play at the 1976 Arts Festival.
Under Dr. Ramsey as full-time conductor in 1981, the band started playing indoor concerts, with the first taking place in February of that same year, followed by the first annual Mother's Day concert. The band added a fall concert in 1983, later to develop into its annual Salute to Veterans. In May, 1984, Dr. 0. Richard Bundy became the director. In 1985, in addition to their two regularly held concerts, the band began to play regularly for the Kiwanis Club's 4th of July Fireworks display at Beaver Stadium.
In February, 1996 Dr. Ned C. Deihl, Professor Emeritus and retired Director of Bands at Penn State, became the conductor of the Band. In November 1998, the band formally organized with bylaws, officers, and a Board of Directors, and established its partnership with Centre Region Parks and Recreation, which continues to this day.
In May, 2005, the band was honored with an invitation, to perform at the National Convention of the American Association of Concert Bands in Williamsport, PA, "hitting the road" for the first time in its history. The band currently has a diverse group of individuals including players that range in age from 19 to 82, and coming from the Centre Region area including State College, Bellefonte, Howard, Aaronsburg, Lock Haven, Mifflinburg, Lewistown, Huntingdon, and Johnstown.
In 2018, Dr. Ned C. Deihl retired as the Municipal Band Conductor with a final Mother's Day farewell concert on May 13. There was great attendance at his final concert where the band performed some of his favorite concert pieces. A reception was held following the concert where Dr. Deihl spoke with community and band members and shared many band memories and experiences.
The SCAMB Executive Committee began the search process to fill the Conductor's position. During the summer months, candidates were interviewed, and ultimately, the Committee selected Dr. Darrin Thornton who believes music plays a universal role in our humanity and everyone has the ability to be musical throughout the course of life. His professional career has focused on teaching toward lifelong musical engagement in the public schools and providing leadership for musical opportunities that foster the musical engagement of adults from college students to retirees. The opportunity to facilitate musical learning and expression brings him much joy and fulfillment. Currently, Dr. Thornton is an associate professor of music and serves as an assistant director of the Penn State School of Music. He teaches music education foundations, secondary instrumental methods and techniques courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and formerly served as an assistant director for the Penn State Marching Blue Band.
Prior to his School of Music appointment, he taught band/instrumental music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the state of New York; served on the conducting faculties at the University of Missouri and SUNY-Fredonia; and held administrative posts at the University of Missouri, SUNY-Fredonia, and Penn State. Thornton holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, master’s degrees from National Louis University and the University of Missouri, and a doctorate from Penn State. He grew up in Shaker Heights, OH, just outside of Cleveland and has lived in State College since 2002. We are certainly excited for Dr. Thornton's appointment to the SCAMB Conductor position, where he will lead the band at his first indoor concert on November 11, 2018.
Each year during its indoor season the band holds four Sunday afternoon Programs--Fall, Winter, Spring, and Mother's Day. The band also usually performs three times during the summer: Arts Festival, the 4th Fest, and the Summer Music Picnic Series at South Hills.
- Click here for the State College Municipal Band Bylaws
- Click here for the complete Band Roster
- Click here for the Donation Roster
You can help support the State College Municipal Band by clicking here to donate today!