Iowa City Community Band members reflect on the band’s history

After another summer season, Iowa City Community Band members reflect on the band’s history.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Rob Medd conducts the Iowa City Community Band during “4thFest” in Coralville, Iowa on Monday, July 4, 2022.

Emily Delgado, News Reporter

After the end of another summer season performing around the Johnson County area, the Iowa City Community Band continues to be a summer tradition. 

Formed by University of Iowa students and community members in 1958, the Iowa City Community Band has mainly played in parks throughout the Iowa City and Coralville area. 

The Iowa City Community Band started their summer 2022 season on June 19 at College Green Park and ended it on Sunday July 24 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. 

Being a part of the Iowa City community for 64 years, Steve West, current Iowa City Community Band musician, said the band is beloved because it makes the summer special for community members by playing good music. 

“I think the audience is extremely appreciative because you know what’s better than on a beautiful evening or afternoon in the summer to have band music playing at a beautiful spot somewhere around the city,” West said. 

West has been with the Iowa City Community Band since 1978 and said the band has played a variety of concert band pieces from songs to musicals. West said he hopes audience members enjoy the music and hopefully bring back old memories.

“The music is kind of ageless…it’s just a lot of fun,” West said.

Brady wrote in a statement to The Daily Iowan that the current Iowa City Community Band was made possible by a graduate of the UI School of Music, Lee Copenhaver. 

“He worked long hours to track down the remnants of the old band, and add it to produce a group that enjoys making music for people who enjoy hearing it,” Brady wrote. 

West said the band continues to be an integral part of the Iowa City art and music community,  not just because of community member support, but because of the dedication of the members. He said the majority of the band has been playing for 30 years. 

“It’s really the joy of making music together and, obviously, playing for an audience as well, but it’s quite therapeutic and rewarding just to play together and make some nice music,” West said. 

West said sometimes UI students and high school students play alongside the band. The Iowa City Community Band has a total of seventy members playing unless members are unable to play. 

“It depends on what life brings to the members but there is a core of players who have been in the band for a number of years,” West said. “And I think we all look very much forward to our opportunity to make music every summer.”

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