The Carillon Park Concert Band is set to kick off a series of summer concerts.
But before you go, here are five things you should know about this band, which dates back to the 1945 NCR band.
1. It goes waaaaaaaaaay far back: The Carillon Park Concert Band traces its roots to the 1945 creation of the NCR band. For years, the ensemble played at the Old River Park bandshell alongside the park’s extensive recreational facilities, providing entertainment for NCR employees and their families.
When Old River closed in 1996, Five Rivers MetroParks took the helm, holding concerts at sites such as Wegerzyn Gardens, Carriage Hill and Cox Arboretum. Current director Mike Berning and Dayton History President and CEO Brady Kress brought the band to Carillon Park in 2010, the perfect home for the storied ensemble.
2. The famed Clark Haines ran it for 43 years: Dayton’s summertime ensemble was the brainchild of acclaimed Dayton bandleader Clark Haines.
A 1935 graduate of The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Haines received his Master’s from The Ohio State University in 1942. In the late 1930s, he was hired by Van Buren Township (present-day Kettering) to teach music at Fairmont High School. Haines also organized and directed the Dayton Philharmonic Band, and was director of the Philharmonic Choir.
3. Let’s hear it for Kettering City Schools! The band has always been led by a Kettering City Schools band leader, and there have only been three directors since its formation: Clark Haines (1945–1988), Jim Probasco (1988–2006), and Michael Berning (2006–present). Bryce Newton, a Kettering City Schools band director and former concert band member, assists Berning.
4. They only take the best: The Carillon Park Concert Band is a summertime ensemble of students from over 20 area high schools. All told, there are well over 100 members of the Carillon Park Concert Band. Students come from schools such as Oakwood, Troy, Springboro, Englewood, Springfield, Xenia and Kettering.
They must audition in order to perform with the Carillon Park Concert Band, resulting in an ensemble comprised of some of the finest high school musicians in the Dayton area playing classic musical selections.
5. Growing, growing, growing: When Berning took over, there were 55 members. In recent years, that number has nearly tripled. The Carillon Park Concert Band kicks off its concert series every year on Memorial Day weekend at Heritage Day with the Dayton Philharmonic.