About the Bands

Who we are

The Fairbanks Community Band, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation for the presentation and support of rehearsals and concerts. Our members are adult musicians who want to continue performing as a lifelong avocation and to support the musical development of members of our community. We are supported by donations from individual and corporate sponsors, grants, membership fees (dues), and revenue from private performances for community and non-profit organizations. Donations to the band are generally tax deductible for the donors. Participants are all volunteers and come from a wide variety of roles within the community. Most of us received our early training in public school music programs. Some of us continued to study music through college or in the military. A number of our members are active or retired music teachers, looking for a chance to play their instruments as well as lead their school groups.

The Concert Band

The Fairbanks Community Band performs as a full concert band (sometimes called a wind symphony or symphonic band) and as a traditional jazz or Big Band. The full band comprises about 55 people who play woodwinds, brasses, and percussion instruments, modeled after the traditional bands of Sousa, Goldman, and others. Full band performances draw from the full range of the concert repertoire from marches to symphonies to popular compositions both old and new.

During the winter season (approximately September into May). The concert band presents four concerts each year in a local auditorium. During the summer we perform public concerts outdoors in local parks, in the annual Golden Days parade, in street festivals, and at the fair. Outdoors, audiences often move about during concerts, bringing picnic lunches or snacks, chairs or blankets for comfortable seating, and assorted kids, pets, and snacks.

The Jazz Band

The jazz ensemble uses a traditional Big Band format with 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, bass, and drums. Mallets and a guitar complete the rhythm section. In some circumstance a vocalist may be added to the basic instrumentation. The jazz ensemble is modeled after the popular bands big bands of the jazz and swing eras, many of which continue today. The music includes many forms of dance music and several varieties of jazz. We often feature vocal or instrumental solos by band members or guest artists.

About Both Bands

Year round we also provide music for numerous community events. We provide music for graduation ceremonies of several small schools which cannot provide their own music. We are proud to provide this community service to enhance the experience of students completing their high school education. We also perform for events such as the annual Golden Days Parade, play public concerts in parks and at the fair, the Midnight Sun Festival, community walks and celebrations, and for other non-profit organizations.

All public concerts are free to the audience, although we are glad to accept voluntary donations. Performances for specific activities or groups involve a small charge to the sponsor. These events are in support of non-profit organizations for meetings, dances, or other special occasions. We have no paid employees or musicians; all are volunteers. Fees for performances are used to expand our music library and to purchase and maintain our performance equipment.

Our home stage for indoor concerts is the Pioneer Park Arts Center.

The Music Libraries

Catalogs of the music in our libraries are published on our web site, with separate lists for the different ensembles. From the library listings one can see what music we own. We also have a section listing what was played in past concerts for the concert band. Scanning these areas of the site offers some insight into the music we play. Recommendations for expanding our library are welcome.

Rehearsals

Each group rehearses once a week for two hours in a central location in Fairbanks. The rehearsal and concert schedules are published on our web site and via email to anyone who requests the information.

Qualifications

We have no formal entrance requirements or audition process. New members should be able to perform at the level of a high school or college band. Exceptions can be made for people who are returning to performing after long layoffs from their instruments.

Most musicians bring their own instruments with some exceptions. The band has our own percussion instruments, including an electronic piano, mallet percussion including xylophone chimes, a hanging gong, and a trap set. We provide amplifiers, speakers, and power cords for singers, soloists, and instruments that need amplification. We also have a few other instruments which have been donated. These include trombones, a euphonium, and other instruments. The inventory changes from time to time. If you need an instrument, please ask. We will help if we can.

How to join

We recommend you visit one of our rehearsals to get a taste of what we are currently playing. Rehearsal and concert schedules are available from our pages. Links to our libraries and to our schedules are available from the main menu on most pages. If you are viewing our site from a computer, look at the menu bar or the sidebar on the right. If you are using a small screen device like a smart phone, look for the menu bar at the top of the page. Our "Contact Us" includes a phone number and email for contacting our leadership.