BACB History

The period in BACB’s evolution dating from 2010 to the present is referred to as the “Next Chapter,” for it is yet to be written. We use the title because the first effort to get the history webpage set up was focused on the origins of the band, dating back to 1976. As time allows, Featured Member biographies will be added for there are additional members who deserve acknowledgement. Programs for the period will also be uploaded, but for now the narrative is an account of some big changes that took place from 2010 to the present.

There may be a tendency to emphasize one period of the band’s developmental history over the other, but in truth they were equally important---just different. One major steppingstone was in 2015 when (for various and specific reasons) Bay Area Concert Band as it had originally been organized had to either disband or go to a 501 c3 non-profit status for tax purposes. The band chose the latter. The transition took place beginning with the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Prior to going non-profit, the Band had by-laws in place as well as a Band Council. There was also a checking account for the deposit of donations and disbursement of funds for operational costs. Having by-laws, a band council, and a checking account helped in the transition to a non-profit, but an extended journey over some formidable hurdles had yet to be surmounted.

Band Members voted on a Board of Directors that included seven members. Carol Davis who was a rather new member at the time, stepped up to assume the position of President. It was a fortunate piece of luck for the band. She, along with treasurer Ted Terry (followed by Vickie Earl) applied for and received a non-profit status for our band. Carol learned of a one-day seminar for non-profits that was being held locally and had as speakers and session leaders ten non-profit attorneys from Portland. She, along with BACB board members Peggy Christensen and Christina Geierman attended the workshop. In addition, the board purchased a book on how to set up our organization and write policies that would provide the framework for governance. The Board set to work and labored over the writing of the policies for our organization. It took until 2023 before they were completed. But part of that was due to the next big change.

In 2020 as most all of you know, Covid 19 flamed into a world pandemic. The state of Oregon went into lockdown as did most of the country. The virus was fast-moving and deadly. More than one million Americans died as a result. A vaccine was developed which many people chose to get, and many others did not or could not. It was a fraught-filled time. As of this writing, July 2023, people are still spreading, contracting and dying from a variation of the Covid virus. But the statewide mandates for vaccines in work forces and other public places, and the wearing of masks put in place in 2020, were dropped.

During the time of Covid, when people were mostly staying inside, the concert band took the initiative to put two previously recorded songs by the band up on their website. They did this in an attempt to stay connected with their audience. Both songs were from a 2019 holiday performance. The titles were At Christmas Time, involving the entire band, and Jingle Bell Rock, performed by the flute section. Getting those two recordings up for a limited time was NO EASY TASK. There was a lot of back and forth between the people that held the rights to those songs and our board. But we got the job done.

As both musicians and audiences begin to feel more comfortable with the status of Covid variants circulating in the general population, the band took a tentative step to get back into performing.

The first concert after Covid was in the summer of 2022 when the Oregon Coast Music Festival re-started their annual events. The Bay Area Concert Band kicked off the two-week fete with their customary concert at Mingus Park.

That fall, the Board stood by their previous decision to require vaccinations of its membership in order to play in the Band. But in October of 2023 that requirement was dropped.

A change that took place at the same time the board was wrestling with Covid and requirements for band membership and participation, was te election of new officers to the position of president and treasurer. It had nothing to do with what had come before, but everything to do with having served on the board for six years as Carol did as president, and four years of service as treasurer as Vickie Earl did. The challenge of the presidency was assumed by Peggy Christensen, and Jan Doyle stepped in as treasurer.

The band seems to be gaining some momentum and getting back to a regular rhythm. Besides the completion of the policies, eight non-duty positions were identified as necessary for the governance of the board. Descriptions were written for all of them, and members of the band have stepped forward to fill them. Nearly one-third of the band is involved in the running of it. All of it is volunteer except for our conductor who is paid a minimal salary.

The band has a website which was set up before Covid but has since added this History Page. Also, a quarterly newsletter called Anthem has been added to the website that focuses on current news. PayPal has also been added to accommodate people who prefer to make donations or pay their membership fees online.

The Band has added two extra concerts to their performance schedule. One is an evening concert prior to the Mingus Park July concert at noon. It is the same literature, but the venue and time are different. The other one will be a Sunday matinee to be performed on December 10, 2023. It will also have the same literature but performed at a different time of day.

Student scholarships are being offered once again and are presented at the summer evening concert. The scholarships were made possible by a $1000 donation from an anonymous supporter. We hope we can grow our budget so we can continue with this time-honored tradition.

Two special events were undertaken by the band. One event honored Ron Carpani, a charter member, sometimes conductor, all around participant and supporter, and lifelong friend to many, who died in March of 2023. The spring concert was dedicated to him. In attendance was his lifelong friend, wife, fellow musician, and also charter member of the band, Marlene Carpani. She was really the inspiration for getting the History Page established.

On July 13, founder of the band and the first director for over 20 years, Mr. Robert Gillett, was guest of honor for the concert. A short reception followed. To add to the festivities a silent auction was organized. The auction was the brainchild of band member Karen Denman who also serves as the band’s photographer. One of our newest members, a gifted artist Alan Remele, donated one of his pieces to the auction. Others donated personal items as well, including Denman who submitted two photographs.

Over the years, the Concert Band has been supported by a loyal and generous audience that has managed to keep us going. There are others who have freely written large checks which they have donated at random times.

Several local organizations and city governments have generously donated or granted money to the band. They include: The Bay Area Sportsman Association, The Ford Family Foundation, The City of Coos Bay, and the Coos Bay-North Bend Lions Club. The leg work behind the grants has been band member Jerry Zabriskie who has worked tirelessly for us and with impressive results.

Our band is bigger and more young people are joining up to become members - attracting their own following. So yes, we have many members from the Next Chapter time period (2010 to present) who deserve to be featured. We will get to those as time allows.