Petaluma Community Band, Sonoma County, California
Click to go to Petaluma Community Band home page
    The Petaluma Community Band in its current form was organized in 1996 by retired band director Jimmie Reynolds, with a group of local musicians who were eager to help rebuild Petaluma's tradition of municipal band music. Arlene Burney, Director of Instrumental Music at Casa Grande High School, leads us forward into the 21st century.
    In addition to the short history below, you'll find a list of news articles from 1878 to the present about Petaluma's town band tradition, on our PCB in the News page.

The Silver Cornet Band. Petaluma, 1894. The town band tradition in Petaluma dates back to at least 1894, with the Silver Cornet Band presenting concerts in local parks.

Photo 7337, Sonoma Co. Public Library;
From Sonoma County Public Library
Left to right, top row: Jerry O'Rourke, Herb Peck, Phil Schmidt, Walter Peck. Next row: Fred Ellsworth, Teddy O'Niel, Frank Peters, Manuel Peters, Frank Connoly, Doodle Mathews. Next row (seated): Howard Brady, William Platt, Edward G. Schulze, Manuel Viera. On floor: Gus Walsh, Harry Smith (Director), John Segrist, Dan Stilwell.

    By 1911 the band was called the Patriarchs' Militant Band, affiliated with the International Order of Odd Fellows. In 1917, just after city voters passed a resolution to appoint a commission for a Municipal Band, most of the band members enlisted or were drafted into military service. It seems that the band largely stayed together during World War I, serving in the Naval Reserve Band at San Pedro. In 1925, the Patriarchs' Militant Band was officially disbanded and reborn as the Petaluma Municipal Band, under the baton of Armand Putz, former director of the Third Corps Artillery Band from the Presidio, San Francisco. In 1928, the Petaluma Municipal Band was thriving under the direction of E.A. Keller, and played weekly concerts sponsored by the downtown merchants.

Petaluma Municipal Band, ca. 1945
From the collection of Charles Moller
Standing, from left: Ray Parker, french horn; Walter Peterson, euphonium; Duane McKibben, trumpet; Barney Heaney, saxophone; Vic LaFranchi, trumpet (standing behind); Buck Heyward, saxophone; Charles Moller, clarinet; Ernie Small, clarinet; Dick McKibben, clarinet; Marie Kembert, clarinet
Front row: Jack Hoyt, snare drum; Frank Emenegger, bass drum; Chris Paulson, tuba
The Petaluma Town Band, circa 1945. Charles Moller is standing fifth from right. Still enthusiastically supporting Petaluma music, Charlie was one of the first people to sign up when the Petaluma Community Band re-formed in 1995.

Petaluma Town Band, circa 1946, at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. On this occasion, the band had been hired to play during a horse show. The conductor was Van Marter Peck, who was also an accomplished trombonist and Post Office employee. Van Marter Peck's father and grandfather were members of the Silver Cornet Band in 1894.

Petaluma Municipal Band at the fairgrounds, ca. 1946
From the collection of Charles Moller
Far left: Angelina Musso (face not visible), clarinet; Jane Nakamura, clarinet; Elaine Allspaugh, flute; Barney Heaney, saxophone; Buck Heyward.
Center left: Ernie Small, clarinet; Marie Kimberg, clarinet; Wayne Sieke, clarinet; Charles Moller, clarinet; Walter Peterson, euphonium; Walter Oster, Sr., euphonium; Ray Parker, alto horn.
Players on right include: Joe King, trumpet (no hat); Jeff Forget, trumpet; Vic Lafranchi, trumpet

Photo 14972 from Sonoma Co. Public Library
From Sonoma County Public Library collection; Petaluma History Room. (Argus-Courier photo by Marvin Lichtenfeld, Jan. 20, 1953)
Director: Maxwell Johnson; 1st row, from left: Leslie Molnezyk, Wayne Sichi, Monty Lane, Oliver Burton, Charles Simon, Sol Libalin; 2nd row: Raymond Yaeger, Joseph Cizkovsky, Loe Leavitt, Lester Martinson, Victor LaFranchi; Back row: Bernard Heaney, Leonard Heyward, Walter Petersen, Jack Keller, Ponice Rich, B.N. Mast, Jack Hoyt, Van Marter Peck, Myron Lewis, Robert Keller.
Petaluma Municipal Band, 1953; Maxwell Johnson, director. Maxwell Johnson was also music instructor at Petaluma High School. By 1953, the Municipal Band was no longer supported by the city, but was organized within the Petaluma Adult School, a program of the Petaluma City Schools.

Looking at Petaluma Municipal Band's new uniforms, 1962

Please email us at pcband at sonic dot net if you have any information about the people in this picture!

Photo 28233 from Sonoma Co. Public Library
From Sonoma County Public Library collection; Petaluma History Room

Veterans Day, 2000
From the collections of Carol Prezio and Jerri Koby
Petaluma Community Band, 2000
Veterans Day concert in Walnut Park.

Petaluma Community Band, 2002
Spring concert at Casa Grande H.S. Conductor, Jimmie Reynolds
Spring Concert, 2002
From the collection of Jerri Koby

Petaluma Community Band home page