Community Band Spotlight October 2011 October 27 2011, 0 Comments

The Karl King Band Contributed By: Jack Kopstein and Stacy Flankey The Karl King Band is the municipal band for Fort Dodge, Iowa. This ensemble has historically provided a summer concert series in the Karl King Bandshell in beautiful Oleson Park and an indoor concert series held in the auditorium of Iowa Central Community College.  The outdoor, summer concert series is an 80 year tradition.  The first summer concert was in 1921, after Karl King arrived in Ft. Dodge.  These concerts are free to all, and are provided as a service by the City of Fort Dodge.  The Karl King Band performs most concerts with an instrumentation of 40 – 45 musicians.  Most players live around the area, but there a few that come from as far away as Des Moines and Sioux City.  Many of the band’s members are band directors, but many other occupations are represented as well.   The band also includes younger players among the musicians that have been playing for 20, 30, and 50 years.  “We make an effort to include young people from Ft. Dodge and the surrounding area who show a promising talent or who are pursuing music as a career. The band wants to encourage young people so that the supply of musicians continues,” says Duane Olson, the band’s personnel director.  The Iowa Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has included the Karl King Bandshell in a list of Iowa’s most significant structures. Karl King was a United States march music bandmaster and composer. He grew up as a self-taught musician with very little schooling of any kind.  At eighteen, he began a career playing with circus bands, including “Barnum and Bailey,” “Robinson Famous Shows,” the “Sells-Floto Circus,” and “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.”  King settled down in Ft. Dodge, Iowa in 1920, and for the next 51 years conducted the city’s municipal band.  King published more than 300 works: galops, waltzes, overtures, serenades, rags and 188 marches and screamers.