There’s been an interesting discussion this summer about the role of music in Madison’s civic infrastructure. Regardless of one’s position on that discussion there is no disputing the importance of public music events like Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five and Dane Dances to our view of our cultural selves. Often overlooked in the Madison arts landscape is the Capitol City Band, despite the fact it has been in existence for 45 years, performing at Rennebohn Park on Madison’s West side in what is a true summer tradition.
Thursday evening, Madison’s “professional community band,” will perform its 800th concert, all but 165 of them under the leadership of UW Professor James Latimer. It is a testament to Professor Latimer’s commitment, and that of the talented musicians, operating on a tight budget and a team of volunteers and supporters, that the Capitol City Band has become such an institution in Madison. The band has a rich history, if one that would not necessarily predict such longevity. 800 concerts is a lot of concerts for a lot of people. We’re lucky we have such a wonderful band.