The Corte Madera Town Band was formed by Gwyn Lister and several members of the Corte Madera Community Foundation in April of 1996. The first practice, under the leadership of Anthony Adessa, brought together 17 musicians, aged 11 to 60+, including a Bongo drum, two snare drums, several horns, and two accordions. Several of the original musicians are still playing. Over the years we have had many musicians participating, including families – father and daughter, mother and daughter, and even grandchildren.
The Band had its first performance in the Larkspur-Corte Madera July 4th Parade of 1996 – and we have been in every 4th of July Parade since then. Our second performance was at the 1996 Oktoberfest. Over the years we have played at many Town events, local retirement residences, and Lion Club-sponsored concerts at the Corte Madera Community Center. The Band has also played in events in Novato, Petaluma, Mill Valley, San Rafael, and San Francisco.
Each year we play seven or eight performances, opening and closing the Summer Concert Series at the Corte Madera Town Center and, if the weather permits, during the Christmas season. The band also plays each year at the Fourth of July Parade, the Corte Madera Octoberfest, the Summer Music Concert Series at the Corte Madera Piccolo Pavilion, and has played several times at the Golden Gate Park Band Festival.
Band practices began in at an empty store in the Corte Madera Center, then moved to the Corte Madera Town Council Chamber, and now practice every Thursday night from 7 pm – 9:15 pm in the Music Room at Neil Cummins School in Corte Madera.
Rita Zigas followed Anthony Adessa as conductor of the Band, and when she went to England to teach, Benedetta Dalbesio took the baton, followed by Anthony Gallardo. Since then, Mark Peabody and Daniel Thompson have conducted. The conductor is a paid position. The conductor buys the music with the approval of the Band members and conducts all rehearsals and performances. Our current conductor is Mark Neymoyten.
Band members are volunteers, playing for the enjoyment of the group and the performances. Today the Corte Madera Town Band has about 40 members who pay dues of $30 per year toward music, band uniforms, and practice time. Everyone is welcome to become a member; you do not have to live in Corte Madera.
Over the years, our financial support has come from local citizens, the Corte Madera Community Foundation, the Town of Corte Madera, the Lions Club, and the Corte Madera Town Center. In 1997, the Band received the Neighbor Achievement Award from the Marin Community Foundation.
Tax deductible donations may be made through the Corte Madera Community Foundation, Band Account, at P.O. Box 7109, Corte Madera, CA. 94976.
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