Community Band Spotlight: Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches June 30 2010, 2 Comments

Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches Contributed by Mary Godwin and Laurie Brisson Graduates of the famed Palm Beach High School loved music and performing in the high school band so much that in the summer of 1961 they founded the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches in order to continue playing together.  The Symphonic Band has spent the past 49 years performing for the community and giving back to the community by awarding scholarships to local students and grants to band and general music programs in the Palm Beach County (FL) school district.  Next year the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. Scholarship Program For nearly 18 years the Band was under the capable direction of Rudolph von Unruh.  When Mr. von Unruh’s life came to an untimely end in 1982, the Band took the step of formally recognizing Mr. von Unruh’s long-term contribution to the Band by establishing the Rudolph von Unruh Memorial Scholarship which is awarded at the Annual Memorial Scholarship Concert. The proceeds of this concert are awarded as scholarships to deserving local students pursuing a college degree or attending a summer music camp. In 2008 the Band established the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches’ Rudolph von Unruh Young Musicians Scholarship, a $20,000 endowed scholarship.  For the past couple of seasons, the concert series has been co-sponsored by Palm Beach State College allowing the Band to add money to the principal of its endowed scholarship in addition to funding an annual scholarship.  To date over $230,000 has been awarded in scholarships and grants to benefit the youth of our community. Concert Series Since 1999, the Band has presented a full 5-concert series at the beautiful Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens and offers an additional 3-concert series at the Duncan Campus Theatre in Lake Worth. To expand the audience base and make the concerts more enjoyable and interesting to our patrons, the band brought in guest artists of local and national acclaim. Internationally renowned conductors, including Colonel Arnald Gabriel, Dr. Alfred Reed, Dr. Paul Yoder, Dr. Harold Walters, Loras Schissel and Commander Alan Beck have been guest conductors with the band. The Baton is Passed Mr. Mark Humphreys was appointed the Symphonic Band‘s conductor in May 2008.  Nearing completion of his second season with the Band, the group continues to grow and has increased in size and instrumentation.  Our programming continues to include a wide variety of music styles and genres ranging from Masterworks to Pop and Jazz, and music from Broadway, and the Movies, composed and arranged by internationally renowned composers and arrangers. Because of their amazing dedication to furthering music education and appreciation in the youth of America via their successful scholarship program, the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches is Altissimo!'s July Community Band Spotlight. To learn more about the band, you can visit their Website at