Decatur - Entertaining Decatur for 155 years. The Decatur Municipal Band has been hitting its notes since 1857, making it one of the oldest nonmilitary bands in continuous service in the United States and Canada.
"I'm extremely proud of the band. I never grow tired of listening to them," Shirley Kistler told WAND News. Kistler has been the MC for the band for 24 seasons. "Often I turn around and I'm supposed to be talking but I am still gaping at the band. I'm very proud of them. They're great musicians."
The band has a lot of history. And, a few long time members. Jim Walker plays clarinet. He first started with the Decatur Municipal Band in 1960 while still in high school.
The bands musical director and conductor is Jim Culbertson. Culbertson, who started in 1965 with a municipal band in Springfield, joined the Decatur Municipal Band in 1979.
"Everybody is a great musician," Culbertson stated. He is also proud of the loyal following of those who attend band performances each week during the summer. Culbertson points to the size of the crowds. "Through the years they've gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. So, it's rewarding that that's happened."
The Decatur Municipal Band performs Sunday evenings in Fairview Park from 6pm - 7pm. Monday nights in Central Park, 7pm - 9pm, through August 13th.