Marshall Band Stand

Location: 501 Archer Avenue
Marshall, IL 62441
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Marshall Band Stand

In 1929 the citizens of Marshall banded together to build a bandstand for the City Band. The band had been giving their concerts at the corner of 6th and Archer then moved to a platform they built at the northeast corner of the Courthouse lawn. The County then gave permission for Marshall to build a bandstand on the grounds. The citizens donated all labor and materials. Businesses also donated and the largest one was Kirchner's Lumber Yard (now Kirchner's Home Center) In the summertime the City would pay the high school students $3.00 to paint and refurbish it. That was how the kids of the 1940's made spending money. Today the County helps on the maintenance. When it was repainted the County donated the paint and organizations in Marshall did the painting.

On July 11, 1929 the bandstand was dedicated. An article from the Clark County Democrat follows. For 82 years the band has had weekly concerts in the summer from the bandstand.

FROM THE CLARK COUNTY DEMOCRAT, WEDNESDAY, JULY 17,1929

"One of the largest crowds ever to attend a band concert here was generated last Thursday night at the dedication of Marshall's new band stand. All the people of this community seemed to have been present and many drove from surrounding towns and cities.

Everybody enjoyed the exercises and were delighted with the beauty of the stand, the lighting and decorations. Rev. Honn of Martinsville gave an inspiring dedicatory address and Prof. Harold Bright, who in the past has done much to make the Marshall band the successful musical organization that it is, directed the first band number. Both men received volumes of applause.

Those in charge of the enterprise extend hearty thanks to all who cooperated with them to make the opening night a success. Especially they appreciated the eagerness of the young ladies who solicited donations from the crowd, Max Zschau who furnished the flowers, Bubeck and Gallagher who furnished the chairs and Ben Honn and Mr.Bright."

In 1875 the men of Marshall, who had an interest in music, formed a band, which they named the Marshall City Band. They gave concerts on Thursday nights during the summer at the corner of 6th and Archer. In 1929 the citizens of Marshall decided to build a bandstand for them on the Courthouse grounds to perform on and host other types of entertainment. It was built of concrete blocks, iron railings, and a pagoda style roof with shingles in the design of that era. It was built entirely from donations from the citizens and businesses of the area with Kirchners being the main supplier. They have performed concerts, which is now on Friday nights, without missing a summer. Out of town visitors stop by the bandstand and attend the Friday night concerts. It is the Marshall logo

BY DICK GUSTAFSON, PRESIDENT MARSHALL MUNICIPAL BAND

The Marshall Municipal Band was established in 1875 and is the oldest continuously - operating band in Illinois at 138 years old. It began as a brass cornet band and evolved to the band it is today. The band has 55 member who put in more than 3,000 total hours per summer preparing, rehearsing and performing at concerts. Rehearsals are held at the Marshall High School  band room each Monday during the summer.

Friday night concerts are held the 1st Friday of June through the 2nd Friday of August. The City Band travels to other communities to perform, and performs at Memorial Day services at the Marshall American Legion and the annual 4th of July celebration at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

The band elects officers every year and has a board of trustees. Members range from high school students to adults, some being members fore more than 40 years. Eighteen high school students and four college students make up some of the membership of the band. This expands their knowledge and experience in the field of music. Several of those students have gone on to major in music. In 138 years, the band has had only eight directors. Ralph Stewart, a 35-year member of the band, has been the director for the last four years. They recently honored past director Harold Ellshoff who passed way in April. Harold was a member for 45 of those years.

The gazebo was built was build for the Marshall City Band on the courthouse lawn in 1928. The Marshall City Band was featured in National Geographic magazine in March 1998 as part of their "America's First Highway" story about the National Road.

Ice cream socials are sponsored by many organizations and churches during the summer and the Lions Club operates the antique popcorn wagon during the concerts. They have visitors who attend from all over the United States and other countries. They're a meeting place for family and class reunions and weekly visits with friends.

Band concerts are advertised weekly in eight different area newspapers and announced on the radio. The band concerts are a tradition in Marshall. Generations have been members of the Marshall City Band and have attended concerts on the courthouse lawn.

Everyone in encouraged to come enjoy the music, fellowship and culture - be part of the tradition!