The Asheville Community Band was organized in October, 1979 as a concert band for musicians of all ages and professions. Now composed of over ninety musicians, this wind band truly represents Western North Carolina with members representing six counties. The all-volunteer band ranges in age from high school to octogenarian and is a 501(c)3 organization. Their mission is to support music education and the proud tradition of community bands and symphonic band music across America, and have a great time together doing so.
Over its rich history the band has performed across Western North Carolina, and in Hawaii, Germany, and Austria. The Band has also performed at two American School Band Directors’ Association National Conventions, for the Women’s Band Directors’ National Association Convention, and twice for NCBA at state convention.
With our formation in 1979, we have a long history, but have only had three directors:
Director Emeritus, Patricia L. Garren, was the band’s founder and she conducted the band for seventeen years.
In 1996 the baton was passed to Michael L. Robinson, who led our band for 20 years, retiring in May 2016. Michael L. Robinson is currently Director of Bands at Mars Hill University.
In 2016 the baton was passed to James Kirkpatrick, who led our band until May 2018. James Kirkpatrick is currently Director of Bands for TC Roberson High School.
Our rehearsals in September 2018 resumed under the direction of Frances Shelton, who was inducted into the North Carolina Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2019. You can learn more about Frances Shelton under the "About" directory above, but she is a terrific leader. Consider joining our band by looking at the “How to Join” link above!
In 1997 a scholarship program was started by the Asheville Community Band to encourage and aid college students majoring in instrumental music education. Since then the band has presented over thirty-five $1,000.00 college scholarships. In 2011, the band added two summer band camp scholarships for middle and high school students in addition to the college awards, representing more than $40,000 dollars worth of charitable beginning since 1997. Our final mission is to encourage the instruction of future music instructors by supporting middle school, high school, and college students who may spread the joys and skills of music to future generations.