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Denis Swope

Music Director

Denis Swope currently serves as the Director of Bands and Performing Arts Department Chair at Hickman High School. A graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Ed. ’89), Mr. Swope taught in Marceline, MO for two years before pursuing his Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting (M.M. ’94). Following graduation he accepted a position as Associate Director of Bands with the Moberly Public Schools, where he served for six years before accepting the position of Associate Director of Bands at Hickman High School. Mr. Swope served in this capacity for 13 years. He is currently in his eighth year as Director of Bands at Hickman. His duties have included sharing four concert bands, marching band, conducting the jazz ensemble, and leading the pit orchestra for two musicals each year. During his tenure at Hickman he has also taught Jazz, Pop and Rock, Intro to Music, and two levels of Music Theory. He has also assisted beginning instrument classes at Smithton Middle School.

Mr. Swope is a member of the Missouri Bandmasters Association, currently serving as board member. During his time on the Board for MBA, he has served as Membership Chair, Vice President, President Elect/All State Coordinator, and President. During his presidency he hosted two state summer conventions. Mr. Swope is also a member of Missouri Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education and Phi Beta Mu. He has also served as the Northeast Missouri Music Educators Association President, and as Vice President for Jazz. He most recently received recognition from Inside Columbia’s Magazine as the Gold Winner in the teacher category of their annual Best of Columbia competition.

Paul Copenhaver
Director Emeritus

The late Paul Copenhaver directed the Columbia Community Band from September 2017 until a short time before his passing on February 7, 2020. He was band director in the Moberly Public Schools for 33 years, retiring in 2006, later teaching band at St. Pius X School in Moberly. He served as associate band director for the University of Missouri-Columbia University Band [1992-1996] and brass instructor at Central Methodist University [1999-2001].

Paul was President of the Missouri Bandmasters Association [1992-1994], Northeast Missouri Music Educators Association Band Vice-President [1978-2003], NEMMEA President [2004-2006], and President of the Missouri Music Educators Association [2008-2010].

Mr. Copenhaver was elected as a member of the Missouri Bandmasters Hall of Fame and the Missouri Music Educators Hall of Fame, and the Moberly Public Schools Distinguished Educators Hall of Fame. He was a charter member of the International Trumpet Guild. During his tenure with CCB, Paul also performed regularly with the Harmonium Brass, ShowMe Brass, and Sauerkraut Serenaders. Previously, he had performed with a variety of big bands, concert bands, brass ensembles and orchestras.

John Patterson
Director Emeritus

John Patterson received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was Director of Bands at Hickman High School from 1966 to 2000 and held the position of Director of Music for the Columbia Public Schools from 1975 to 2000. During the 2001-2002 year, Mr. Patterson served as Visiting Associate Director of Bands at MU.  In 2005, Mr. Patterson was appointed as the Music Director of the Columbia Community Band, a position that he held until he retired in September of 2017.

Mr. Patterson is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor. His professional memberships include: the National Association for Music Educator, the Missouri Music Educators Association, the National Band Association, the Missouri Bandmasters Association, and the International Clarinet Association. He has served as president of both the Missouri Bandmasters Association and the Missouri Music Educators Association.

Throughout his career, Mr. Patterson has performed in a wide variety of ensembles and venues, including appearances with such artists as Bob Hope, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Clark Terry, Buddy Morrow, Buddy DeFranco, Glen Campbell, Bill Watrous, John Pizzarelli, and the Temptations. He currently enjoys performaing with his favorite chamber ensembles, the Roadkill Clarinet Quintet, the Flat Branch Four Clarinet Quartet, and the Booneslick Saxophone Quartet.

Keith House
Director Emeritus

Having served as the Music Director for The Columbia Community Band for seventeen years, Keith House retired in April, 2005. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the band as Music Director, Keith was named Director Emeritus upon his retirement.

Keith House served as principal trumpet with the 41st and 24th U.S. Army Infantry Division Bands in the Philippines and Japan in WWII. Upon completing military service he enrolled at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri and was graduated in 1949. He played principal cornet in the University of Michigan Band and received a Master of Music Education degree from The University of Kansas.

He taught band and choir in Hamilton and Lee's Summit, Missouri schools, and then became band director at Central Methodist College where he taught for twenty-three years. He has directed bands at Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA), Missouri Bandmasters Association (MBA) , The National Association for Music Education (MENC), Association of Concert Bands (ACB) and the American Legion Conventions. He played in and directed the Unity Band and played in other concert, dance and show bands and symphony orchestras while at Lee's Summit. Professor House has guest conducted many high school, university and clinic bands as well as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Bands in Washington, D.C.

Keith was honored by the Southwest Missouri State University Bands for distinguished service to Missouri bands. In 2002, he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Central Methodist College. He was appointed as the Music Director of The Columbia Community Band in 1989, retiring just 4 months prior to his passing in August of 2005.

Keith directed over 900 concerts in his career but he was often heard saying "The most important concert is the next one."

Alan Nellis
Former Director

Alan Nellis directed the Columbia Community Band from 1986 to 1989. Alan was born in the beautiful Flints Hills of Kansas and began playing the cornet at age 10. Alan received his formal music education at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. During these years he developed performance skills in a broad range of genres, from symphonic to jazz and beyond. 

During Prof. House's tenure as director, Alan often appeared as cornet soloist with the CCB. He is an avid student of cornet history, maintaining a significant collection of period instruments which he uses in historically informed performance. Alan has performed in leading swing and traditional jazz groups across the state, appearing with Nora Hulse in the Roundhouse Rascals for many years. He is also a former member of the Columbia Civic Orchestra (serving as manager and principal trumpet from 2013 to 2016), the Missouri Symphony, and was band instructor at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. As a composer/arranger, Alan has satisfied commissions by the Columbia Civic Orchestra, the Marshall Philharmonic, The Jefferson City Cantorum and many church and school groups. 

Alan continues to perform in an inclusive variety of genres. And yet his most important work may very well be that which is unseen by the general public. He and his wife Patricia have spent their careers providing health care to the underserved. They have been partners for almost 40 years and currently reside in Saint Louis where Pat directs the Occupational Therapy clinic at Washington University. Alan has blended his passion for music with a gentle nature that has allowed him to effectively serve over a long career as a mental health provider, first at Fulton State Hospital and now at the Saint Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center. After initially being focused on music therapy, Alan’s work has gradually expanded to teaching the skills his patients need to function in the modern world of technology.

Butch Antal
Founding Director

In 1981, Butch Antal started Columbia Band Instrument Company which provided instruments and repair services in Missouri for 34 years. That same year, Butch also started The Columbia Community Band (CCB) which he directed for five years. CCB continues to be a vital part of Columbia's music culture. Butch received his first trumpet in 4th grade after promising his mother he would stick with it. He graduated from Riverview Gardens High School in 1968. Already a professional musician in his teens, Butch played many gigs at night clubs in the St. Louis area prior to graduation. He attended Central Missouri State University and earned his Bachelor of Music in 1972.

In 1968 at CMSU, Butch formed "The Storyville Stompers," his band for 47 years. After graduation from CMSU, Butch attended The University of Bonn-Germany on a teaching assistantship to obtain a Master of Performance while being affiliated with the Bonn Symphony as utility trumpet. He played first trumpet in "Three Penny Opera" in New York after returning to the US. He moved to Los Angeles when he had an opportunity to study with trumpeter Claude Gordon and worked as a studio musician with Hanna-Barbera, playing on the soundtrack of various cartoons. Success in the studio led to a stint on the Sonny and Cher Show and work as a sideman for artists including Frank Gorshin, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Henry Mancini.

Realizing that the life of a touring musician was not for him, Butch left Los Angeles and on the advice of friends chose to live in Hermann, Missouri, where he taught band at both public and parochial schools. Moving to Hermann turned out to be an excellent decision for Butch. His backdoor neighbor was Linda Penning whom he married on Dec. 27, 1980. Together, they moved to Columbia where his legacy still thrives through the Columbia Community Band, but even more so through the students, family, and friends he touched.

Butch Antal passed away in 2015. Whether in the audience, on the bandstand, or in everyday life, Butch brought laughter and joy to everyone he encountered. He was not just a colleague, but a loyal friend. He not only saw music clearly, but life too. His family and friends miss his talent, laughter, wit, advice, expertise, but most of all his generous nature.

Support provided by Columbia's Office of Cultural Affairs, through CoMoGives, and by Direct Contributions from individuals like you. Thank you!

The Columbia Community Band • P.O. Box 7254 • Columbia, MO 65205-7254 • (573) 446-2263 columbiaband@gmail.com  Privacy Policy

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