The Beginning of the West Suburban Concert Band
In the summer of 1957, Herbert J. Bassman , editor of the LaGrange Citizen Newspaper, issued a civic challenge to organize a municipal band. The challenge was accepted by Eugene Heeter and Charles “Chuck” Stotz and in the fall of 1957, 40 members showed up at Cossitt Ave. School for the first rehearsal of “The West Suburban Community Band”.
LaGrange Citizen Newspaper
‘Why can’t this community have a band like that?’ was a common comment when the Downers Grove and other community bands oomp-pahed their way down LaGrange Road and up Burlington during the Pet Parade in June.
Expanded comment from others included praise for the Lyons Township High School Band with the addition ‘The LTHS Band proves that there is a lot of musical talent in the community available forn the organization of a town band.’
Throughout America communities are reviving town bands that make a public appearance once a week in the town square, the band shell grove, or some other park.
Young and old congregate to sit in bleachers, lounge on the ground or just stroll ‘round and ‘round while the band plays on. It is difficult, if not impossible to conceive of a more civic type of event in which every resident of the community can participate.
Will someone please accept a civic challenge and organize a band during the next winter season, so that it will be ready to provide concerts next summer?
While our name has changed – we are now “The West Suburban Concert Band”-- over 50 years, 5 directors, the retirement of the last charter member in 2010 and 300 plus members later, the band plays on. We are very grateful to the musicians who made Mr. Bassman’s civic challenge a reality.