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About The NEW Pioneer Band


We started the band in October of 2021 with a vision of emulating the spirit and music of the original Pioneer Band that existed from 1880 to about 1928.   By  2024 we are at about 16 members, and the band continues to develop.


We welcome  musicians who enjoy playing historical band music like it was played around the turn of the 20th century. Keeping in the spirit of the original, the band is intended to include a mixture of  musicians, experienced and inexperienced, amateur and professional, just like when it was first organized in 1880.  If you played a band instrument in high school or college, or even grade school, and would like to get back into making music, this may be for you.  But this should be enjoyable for more experienced players as well.


This will likely remain a fairly small group - the original Pioneer Band averaged about 15 people, and some community bands were much smaller! At this size, every player is important, as each part usually has only one or two people playing.



The  Phoenix Pioneer Band is open to every one without restriction to age, sex, race, etc. (Minors must have the approval of parent or guardian.) It is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors, who is elected by the membership. The Board elects a Bandmaster, who is tasked with coordinating the group.

The Board in 2024:

Chuck King, President

Chris Bates, Secretary

Bob Graham, Treasurer

Drew Hinderliter

Mark Shettler


Bob Graham



This band focuses on the music played by American community bands (usually, "brass bands") between about 1880 and 1940. Much of our repertoire is taken from the  Band Music PDF Library, where you will find many old favorites and a lot of the music actually played by the original band.

In 2023 our band  leader purchased the discarded music library of the University of Colorado at Boulder - a huge collection of music of over 400 titles, many of which were published in the pre-WWII time period we are interested in. We're still discovering  interesting pieces out of this collection. 

Much of the music played by the original Phoenix Pioneer Band is known, as they often printed the programs in the newspaper. We generally give preference to pieces like these, which more closely connect  this band with its historical model.

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The Instrumentation

Ideally the band will include about 15-20 players for performances, with a few additional players for redundancy.  The following list shows what we have (H) and  what we need (I).  If you would like to participate but lack the horn, we can provide many brass instruments.  We also own a set of basic percussion instruments.


HHHH Cornet/Trumpet​

HH Eb Alto Horn

HI Baritone/Euphonium

HH Trombone

HI Bb or Eb Bass (Tuba)

OTHERS WELCOME: Oboe, Bassoon, Eb Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax


HH Flute/Piccolo

HHI Clarinet

HHH Saxophone


HI Percussion


Musical Direction

As essentially a chamber group, we do not have a "conductor." In bands of the period, the lead cornetist (known as the "Solo Cornet") usually led the band, and we are following that model.


Time Commitment

Practice sessions are currently held on  Wednesday nights  for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (see the Calendar for details).   Members should expect to make at least half the practices to play in performances. 

We perform, on average, about once every month or two, depending on opportunities. We often play at monthly First Friday events in Downtown Phoenix from October through April, and appear at out-of-town events and festivals, as well as playing for senior living communities.



Our rehearsals are held at 1114 Grand Avenue.  Plenty of street parking on Grand is available, or park in the lot accessible from 11th Ave just north of Grand (look for the big red wall with the address 1114 Grand marked on it). There are building entrances on front and back.


Practice Schedule

Practices are held on Wednesday nights, 7:00 - 8:30 PM unless canceled. Occasional rescheduled or supplemental rehearsals will appear on the calendar.



Whether or not you have “signed up,” you are welcome to attend up to three practices before joining as a member. But it will be easiest if you fill out the sign-up Google Form linked below. (Those who SIGN UP will be added to our email distribution list.)  Band  Members pay $20 annual dues and commit to abide by our Member Rules of Conduct. 

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