Contributed By: Gerald Poe and Stacy Flankey The Gainesville Community Band (GCB) was founded in 1974, by seven members to provide free, public performances to the Gainesville community. Today the band boasts up to 120 members. On May 1, 1978 the band was designated the “Official Band of the City of Gainesville” by the City Commission. And on November 22, 1994, the Alachua County Board of Commissioners named the band the “Official Band of Alachua County.” The band is an all-volunteer group, and its members have many different professions including teachers, professors, scientists, business professionals, physicians, contractors, realtors, trades-persons, retirees, and students. The band is a great place to give musicians a place to play after high school and college. Not only do members volunteer to play for the band, but several players provide time of their own to help with promotional, organizational, logistical, mechanical areas, graphic design expertise, music compositions and arrangements, computer services, and printing services. Several members are professional musicians who perform with other groups and organizations, but also volunteer their time and talents with the Gainesville Band. Dr. Gerald Poe was appointed conductor of the Gainesville Band in 2004. He received his B.A. degree from Western State College in Colorado, his M.M. ed. from Florida State University, and D.M.A. from the University of Colorado. Dr. Poe taught in public schools of Florida from 1986-2004. His jazz and concert bands were considered some of the best in Florida. Prior to teaching in Alachua County, Dr. Poe served as Director of Bands at the University of Florida, University of Oregon, University of Colorado, University of Portland, and taught public school in California and Colorado. To Dr. Poe’s credit, his bands have appeared on national television over 40 times and he has over thirty published articles and recordings. In 1984, Dr. Poe was in charge of the pregame entertainment for Super Bowl XVIII, which was played in Tampa. The show combined the 650 members from FSU and U of F marching bands. This is the only time two major universities have combined forces to present entertainment for a Super Bowl. The biography of Dr. Poe is listed in Who’s Who in American Music, Who’s Who in American Universities and Marquis’s Who’s Who in America. Dr. Poe is professionally active in Florida Music Educators, Music Educators National Conference, Florida Bandmasters Association, Windjammers, and the Association of Concert Bands. He remains active as a clinician, conductor and performer throughout the United States and Canada. The band progressed from playing for a few family and friends to performing for around 25,000 audience members annually. In 1995 and 2003 the Gainesville Community Band hosted the Association of Concert Bands National Conventions. They also performed for the ACB Conventions in Pensacola, Florida in 2001 and 2007. The band plays at least five local concerts each season, including concerts in the park, the Bright Christmas Concert, performances at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the Independence Day Fanfares and Fireworks celebration. The Gainesville Band was the first adult concert band to perform at Walt Disney World, and has been invited to return on numerous occasions. The band presents the Dr. Charles E. Dean Memorial Trumpet Award and James B. King Memorial Clarinet award to deserving middle school band students who are in need of a quality instrument to continue in their school band program in Alachua County. So far eighteen trumpets and two clarinets have been awarded through the generous donations of patrons, band members, and local music stores All concerts by the Gainesville Community Band are free and family friendly, with the goal to build a stronger community, establish positive cultural values, and give adults an opportunity to continue their participation in music making throughout their lives. Visit the Gainesville Community Band website.