Research on the Saint Charles Bands history began in 2001 to document the Band’s expected up coming 100 year anniversary in 2004. It quickly became apparent that our Band’s history went far beyond the early 1900’s. Research of early Cosmos, Monitor and Banner newspapers documented that bands existed at least as early as 1870. Photographs from the Saint Charles County Historical Society and the John J. Buse Jr. Collection put faces on the men who played in the early Bands. The 96 page book “The Saint Charles Band’s History 1870- 2004 was published in 2004. Copies are still available at the Elm St. library and the Historical Society.
In 2015 Jessica Rasch, Saint Charles City Media Department, expressed an interest in developing a video presentation based on the Band’s History Book. The first meeting to kick off the project was held in August 2015. The next 18 months involved developing a story line / script, locating additional photographs, arranging interviews, editing down content to fit a 30 minute time frame and final editing for accuracy of the content.
The resulting video reveals the dedication, love of music and perseverance of the musicians that have keep the Saint Charles Bands going strong for almost 150 years. Four generations of the Simon family played with the Bands from 1880’s to the 1960’s. Five members of the Decker family played with the Bands from 1870 to the 1960’s. Numerous musicians have played with the Bands for more than 40 years.
There are several times during the Band’s existence that difficult times almost brought down the final curtain, but support from the community, audiences, the City and the determination of the musicians have kept band music alive in Saint Charles.
A “Special Thank You” to Jessica Rasch of the Saint Charles City media department for her dedication and expertise in bringing this 16 year project to a wonderful conclusion.