History of the Maynard Community Band
The Town of Maynard has hosted musical groups even before it was incorporated back in 1871. Very few communities of this size can boast the multitude an variety of musical skills that rose out of the midst of the community throughout its history. Even in the town's inaugural parade there were two bands known as the Eagle Cornet Band of Iola Lodge and the Amateur Brass Band, which participated in the events of the day. Of these two groups personal had broken away and reformed in the spring of 1875 to create the MAYNARD BRASS BAND. In 1884, the group was again reorganized and called the MAYNARD MILITARY BAND, which continued in existence until the early 1920s.
In September of 1899 another band was formed only for Finnish heritage musicians. This was called the Imatra Band. This band held many rehearsals at the Nason Street School House that was later moved to Acton Street. Many times in the early years, both the MAYNARD MILITARY and IMATRA BANDS would be unable to acquire rehearsal space so they would parade around town instead. It got to a point where the people of Acton and Glendale streets were hearing and seeing more than their share of parades as there were marches practically 5 out of 7 days a week. Concerts were also held until 1915 at the corner of Main and Walnut Streets on a bandstand donated by Mr. Abel Haynes. Newspaper recordings depicted that thousands used to come to enjoy the music from all around.
In late 1910 the NATIONAL BAND was formed with offshoot members from the IMATRA BAND. It is believed the musicians in the early days had a lot of problems staying together. Problems had appeared to be two-fold. One was the inability to get along with each other due to the difference in philosophies with the FINNISH WORKINGMENS ASSOCIATION the other was that rehearsals were not attended faithfully. This band held its rehearsals in the Finnish Temperence Hall later known as the Maynard VFW. Both the NATIONAL and IMATRA BANDS, using stragglers from the now defunct MAYNARD MILITARY BAND began holding concerts in the mid 1920s and were led by a Mr. Louis Koski, a professional conductor at that time.
For over 20 years Mr. Koski produced programs that delighted the area townspeople. Eventually, by the presence of these two groups they were later united in 1947 and then became The MAYNARD COMMUNITY BAND.
Alexander DeGrappo joined the MAYNARD COMMUNITY BAND in 1946 and late 1952 he was appointed conductor of the band. At this time there was musicians from twelve different towns the band at this time was doing parades and concerts. In the early 1980s the band gave up on the parades because of the average age of the members. The decision was made at this time to start a big band sound of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Als brother Charles DeGrappo was appointed assistant conductor in the late 60s. All the same problems existed as far as rehearsal space the band rehearsed in twelve different halls or rooms. The band now rehearses in the Concord Street Elderly housing in exchange the band plays a concert there and at Powder Mill Circle and Summer Hill Glenn the other elderly housing in Maynard. The remainder of the concerts is played Maynard Memorial Park every Wednesday evening through the months July and August. After Charles pass away in the late 80s Michael Karpeichik was appointed assistant conductor. All concerts played consisted of 45 minutes of Concert Band and 45 minutes of Big Dance Band Sound. In the winter months besides rehearsals the band plays and indoor Christmas concert and indoors Spring concert. The Dance Band has played several other events including class reunions and weddings. Alexander is in his 49th year as conductor of the Maynard Community Band.
This article was contributed by Barry DeGrappo.
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