Batavia Community Band
The Batavia Community Band of Batavia, Illinois was conceived by Mr. John Heath, retired band director of the Batavia High School, and Dr. Linda Schielke, retired school administrator, in October of 2013. As the Mayor's wife, Dr. Schielke had attended dozens of City events and celebrations each year, and she felt that many of them could benefit from having band music as part of the program. An all-call for band members went out via print media and online, and dozens of players responded. In late October, practices began in the Batavia City Hall Council Chambers, and at the Celebration of Lights on the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving, the first-ever Batavia Community Band concert was performed on the Riverwalk.
Annually, the Batavia Community Band performs usually eight times for the following citywide events:
-First Sunday in May: Loyalty Day Picnic (previously the Loyalty Day Parade) at the Batavia VFW
-Last Monday in May: Memorial Day program at the Batavia VFW
-June (Sunday closest to June 14 Flag Day): Flag Day Ice Cream Social on the Riverwalk
-July 4: Sky Concert in Engstrom Park
-September (mid-month Sunday): concert on the Riverwalk
-October (first Saturday): Oktoberfest concert on River Street
-November 11: Veterans Day program at the Batavia VFW
-November (Sunday evening after Thanksgiving): Celebration of Lights kick-off to the holidays on the Riverwalk
CITY OF BATAVIA SUPPORT
Because the Batavia Community Band functions under the umbrella of the City of Batavia, invitations to the band are accepted by Mr. Heath and Dr. Schielke based on the following criteria:
- The event has to be supported by the City of Batavia and benefit the entire Batavia Community and be open to Batavia citizens of all ages (not hosted by groups that conduct events only for their members)
- The event has to be at a time and location conducive to performing (such as some conditions and times of the year do not support outdoor performances)
No City of Batavia budget funds are spent on the Batavia Community Band. In-kind support and resources (such as a place to practice, storage for equipment, chairs, carts, web/tech support, etc.) are provided at no cost to the band by the City of Batavia.
Musicians of all ages and towns are welcome to join the Batavia Community Band. (We only request that for any interested middle or high school students their school practice/performance schedule has to take precedence over the Community Band's schedule.) No audition is required, but knowledge of your performance background is appreciated. If it has been several years since you've played, you are still most welcome. Players must bring their own instrument and music stand. Members are encouraged to attend as many practices and performances as possible, but no penalties exist when busy lives have to take precedence. There is no cost to being a member nor remuneration; all members serve as volunteers. The Batavia Community Band's schedule begins in late March and extends through the last Sunday in November, with a brief hiatus after the 4th of July through the latter part of August. All practices are held in the City Council Chambers at the Batavia City Hall; days of the week we practice vary from year to year depending on the director's schedule.
The Batavia Community Band was conceived as a means by which talented musicians of all ages could come together for the pure joy of creating and sharing music. Many people have wonderful memories of their band experiences from middle school, high school, and college, but have not had many opportunities to play as adults, busy with careers and raising families. The dozens of members in the Batavia Community Band have expressed the fun they are having being back among people who love playing as much as they do. For many of us, being a member of the Batavia Community Band is the one thing we do each week for ourselves, and it brings back younger days in our hometowns where we loved growing up making music. We hope that playing in the Batavia Community Band might be the answer to an item on your bucket list, too!
For further information about joining the Batavia Community Band, please email Dr. Schielke or check out our page of information and photos on our website.