About The Naples Concert Band
The Naples Concert Band (NCB) is organized to provide a way for musicians to perform for personal satisfaction and growth, to present concerts for the enjoyment and cultural enrichment of the Naples/Collier community, surrounding areas and visitors, and to provide scholarships for high school students.
George Reardon, City of Naples Parks & Recreation Director, heard a Sousa march on the radio on the way to work and developed the idea of the Naples Municipal Band. Robert Thurston was the first President and the original band contained 3 accordion players.
Conductor: Wayne Feller
Clarinet: Ted Koslick, Beach Williamson
Trumpet: James Barr
French Horn: Stan Ciciora
Trombone: Wayne Feller
Euphonium: Bob Thurston
Accordion: Mary Ranney, Barbara Tuck, Irene Kopp
Percussion: Bill Gribben
The first rehearsal of the Naples Concert Band took place on February 28, 1972. It was a humble start to what has grown to be a great band.
The first concert was performed at Cambier Park behind the original Norris Center, the band contained 30 musicians. Selections played were:
Star Spangled Banner Gypsy Festival
Spanish Eyes Military Escort
Jean Hoosier Schoolmaster
Light Cavalry Washington Post
Close to You America
EARLY PICTURES - NAPLES CONCERT BAND
NCB SPEARHEADS THE BANDSHELL IN CAMBIER PARK
The Cambier Park Bandshell was placed on the City of Naples “Wish List” by Band President George Schnakenberg. The City Council endorsed the bandshell after Henry Watkins, representing the Watkins Family, donors of the land for Cambier Park, agreed that the bandshell would not disrupt recreational use of the park. The Naples Concert Band began fundraising for the bandshell with an estimated cost of $60,000
Funding for the revised estimated construction cost of $150,000 included:
The Naples Concert Band raised $30,000.
The Collier County Historical Society donated $25,000..
The City of Naples contributed $50,000.
Mr. & Mrs. William Hutchinson provided matching funds of $25,000.
Fundraising Ad - 1987
Cambier Park Bandshell groundbreaking by Don Garrett Construction. Dedication and first concert in new the Cambier Park Bandshell, with a cost of construction of $150,000. The band performed “Gulfside March” composed by clarinet player and Naples Concert Band member Dan Turiel, at the bandshell dedication concert held on April 12, 1987.
Dedication Concert - April 12, 1987
While the first bandshell was deemed a great improvement, it sitll lacked accoustically. So, the City of Naples began bandshell renovation fundraising. The Naples Concert Band performed at the Naples Bonfire Festival at Lowdermilk Park to raise funds to renovate the Cambier Park Bandshell. Other groups that use the bandshell also performed. Inscribed bricks were sold and installed by band members in front of the stage as part of the renovation fundraising effort. Angela Stathatos, a 30-year member of the band, spearheaded the task of installing the bricks.
During renovation of the Cambier Park Bandshell, the band performed at the east side of the park by the Veterans Memorial. Renovations totaled $1.2 million with $250,000 donated by a band member anonymously to fund the new roof. Improvements included the roof, an enlarged stage, air conditioned equipment and instrument storage rooms and green room, and separate public restrooms.
Today's bandshell stands as a testament to the community spirit both of the citizens of the City of Naples and the members of the Naples Concert Band and its loyal audience. The bandshell is widely used today and has provided a great service to performance groups, religious groups and many others in the community.
And it all started with the Naples Concert Band!