The Columbia Community Band was founded in 1981 as part of the Columbia Public Schools Adult Education Program. It is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteer musicians. Since its inception, CCB has become one of the Midwest's premier symphonic concert bands, and has grown from an initial membership of approximately twenty, to seventy musicians today.
The Columbia Community band's first conductor, Butch Antal, was trumpeter with the Henry Mancini Orchestra and other professional bands. Mr. Antal established and guided CCB through its first six years. Mr. Alan Nellis lead the band from 1986 to 1988, followed by Professor Keith House, who served as music director from 1989 to 2005. Mr. John Patterson succeeded Keith House as director in 2005. Mr. Patterson had served The Columbia Community Band since 1998 as a band member, becoming assistant director in 1999. In 2006, Mr. Patterson was instrumental in leading CCB through its 25th anniversary celebration. He served as director until 2018 before handing over the reins to Mr. Paul Copenhaver. Mr. Copenhaver, having joined the band in 2008 as a trumpeter and assistant director, served as director for just the 2 short years leading up to his untimely death in February of 2020. Mr. Phil Wood, serving as assistant director, was instrumental in helping CCB fulfill commitments during the final months of 2019.
The Columbia Community Band was the first concert band to perform in the Historic Missouri Theatre in Columbia and the first community band to perform at the International Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri. By invitation, The Columbia Community Band has performed at the Missouri Bandmasters' Association annual convention in 1991 and 2007, as well as the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference and at the national conference of the Association of Concert Bands, of which, CCB has been a long-standing member. In 1999, The Columbia Community Band expanded its performance venues when it traveled to England and Scotland to perform a ten day concert tour. In 2006, CCB celebrated its 25th anniversary with a concert and reception at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. The musical program featured a work composed by Dr. John Cheetham, Overture: Silver Jubilee, which was written for the occasion.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the band suspended all rehearsals and performances from March of 2020 through May of 2021. Throughout this time, however, CCB's volunteer leaders stayed active, subscribing to a new cloud-based donor and member management software and acquiring the services of Mr. Denis Swope. Mr. Swope was named music director in July of 2020. Rehearsals resumed in the summer of 2021 in preparation for several outdoor performances. CCB commissioned a new concert band piece by composer Randall Standridge of Jonesboro, AR. The band will present the premier performance of the new composition on 12-Sep-2021, at the 40th Anniversary Concert, again in Columbia's Historic Missouri Theatre.
The Columbia Community Band is resuming its long tradition of performing at least three formal indoor concerts each year, as well as a variety of outdoor performances in Columbia and surrounding communities. All of the band's performances are free and open to the public.