Author: Jerry Robbins, Ed.D.
It’s a Tuesday evening. Wayne Jahnke assembles his trombone as he readies for a rehearsal of
the Ypsilanti Community Band (YCB). Across the room, Lorne Kennedy warms up his clarinet. Both
Jahnke, a retired utilities administrator, and Kennedy, a retired postal worker, have met for this
purpose most Tuesday nights for the past 30 years. Both are charter and continuous members of the
The YCB began on January 22, 1979, when Lynn Cooper, then in his 10th year as a band director in
the Ypsilanti schools, called together a group of 23 of his friends, his former students, and band
students from Eastern Michigan University (EMU). At that exploratory meeting, it was decided to
continue with the organization of a community band. The first rehearsal was set for February 20,
1979. More than 50 people attended that first rehearsal and the Band was under way. However, this
was, by no means, the first adult band organization in the community.
Predecessor Bands in the Community: There are references to a city band in the mid-1800’s, led
by Fred Cutler. This may be the same as the Ypsilanti Cornet Band, said to be founded in the
1870’s, also led by Cutler. This band dissolved and was replaced by the Light Guard Band, which
appears to have been founded in 1872. A second Ypsilanti City Band was organized in 1876, led by
Perhaps the best remembered former Ypsilanti adult band was the "Barnhill Band," founded by John
F. Barnhill, a professor of mathematics at Michigan State Normal College (now EMU), and its
successor (after the death of the founder in 1941), the Barnhill Memorial Band. (See Lois Katon,
“Ypsilanti High School Boys Band and the Ypsilanti Community Band,” Ypsilanti Gleanings, fall
2006, p.14.) Unfortunately, this band's numbers began to dwindle and it dissolved in the 1960's.
YCB - The Beginnings: The original purposes as set by Lynn Cooper and the other founders of the
YCB, with minor changes in wording, remain firmly in place. Among the features that have made and
continue to make YCB different from many other musical groups in the area are (a) no auditions, (b)
any player of a concert band instrument is welcome, (c) all concerts are free, and (d) all personal
services are donated.
YCB - The Conductors: The YCB has had five conductors. Their lengths of service have ranged from
one season to more than 10 seasons.
• Lynn Cooper (1979-1985), the founding conductor, received all of his formal education in
Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor institutions. With the exception of his first three years of teaching,
through the time that he led the YCB, his career was as a band director in the Ypsilanti schools.
He accepted a position at Asbury College in Kentucky in 1985, from which institution he has retired
recently. During his years at Asbury he completed his doctorate (from UM) and became chair of the
Department of Music at that institution. In 1979, Cooper felt that the area was ripe for a
post-high school musical performance group. Cooper led organizational and musical activities of the
YCB during the formative first seven seasons.
• Paul Stanifer (1985-1986) served as the second YCB conductor for the 8th (1985-1986) season.
Stanifer lived at the time in Temperance, MI, where he had conducted award-winning bands in the
Bedford schools for 17 years before switching to a management and sales career. Stanifer later
joined the staff of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and he currently serves as
the Executive Director of that organization.
• Charles Lee (1986-1988, a native of Indiana, served as YCB’s third conductor for the 9th and
10th (1986-1988) seasons. A former high school band director, he also had directed bands at St.
Joseph’s College and Morehead State University. He was the first director of bands at the
University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Lee received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in higher
education in 1982. At the time of his appointment as YCB Music Director and Principal Conductor, Lee
was the corporate marketing manager for education at the Burroughs Corporation. Following his
service with the YCB, Lee held other corporate positions. He has recently retired and lives in
• Kenneth Bowman (1988-1998) served as the fourth YCB conductor for the 11th through 20th seasons
(1988-1998). He grew up in Connecticut and received his first degree from Danbury State Teachers
College. Bowman served in the U.S. Army after graduation and played tuba with the First Army Band
(NY) and the Ninth Army Band in Fairbanks (AL). Bowman began his teaching career in 1961 in
Fairbanks. After earning his masters degree from UM in 1965 he taught band in Armada, MI for two
years. He came to Lincoln High School in 1967 and was the band director there until his retirement
in 1989. Bowman was a charter and 20-year member of the YCB. He died in 2007.
• Jerry Robbins (1998-present), the fifth conductor, Jerry Robbins, has served in that role from
season 21 (1998-1999) to the present time. A native of Arkansas, his bachelor’s degree is in
mathematics and music from Hendrix College and his masters and doctorate are in educational
administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. After a brief career as a high school
band director in Arkansas, he went on to become a high school principal, university professor,
department chair, and central university administrator at several institutions. Robbins served 25
years as Dean of the College of Education at three institutions. He retired from that position at
EMU in 2004. Active in community music groups all his adult life, Robbins served 11 years as the
assistant conductor of the North Fulton Community Band (now the Atlanta Wind Symphony) in Georgia.
When he came to EMU in 1991, he joined the YCB as a trombone player. In 1993, he was named
assistant conductor of the YCB, a position he held until being named YCB conductor in 1998. (The
Band was known as the “Barnhill Band” during the indoor seasons from 1998 to 2002.)
YCB - The Assistant Conductors: There have been periods of time when there was no assistant
conductor. In some cases, an individual served several times as “guest conductor” before being
officially named “assistant conductor.” YCB’s assistant conductors have included: Michael
Chiumento (1979), John Mason (1983-1985), Lawrence VanOyen (1986-1987), Michael Letovsky
(1988-1990), Janet Williams (1990-1991), Diane Joslin (1990-1992), Jerry Robbins (1993-1998), George
Thompson (1998-2002), Jon Margerum-Leys (2002-2005), James Wagner (2007-present), Pat Padilla
(2007-present), and Vince Chrisman (2008-present).
YCB - The Players: There were 59 players listed for the first concert in May 1979, a number that
increased to 68 for the next concert in July of that year. The least number of players on record
for an indoor concert was 35 for the March 2, 1995 and May 1, 1997 concerts. The greatest number of
players listed on the program for an indoor concert was 89 for the October 18, 2001 performance and,
for an outdoor concert, 92 for the June 28, 2007 performance. (In recent years, each printed
program has listed the formal membership of the Band at that time, rather than the number of persons
During the Lynn Cooper years, the number of players at any given time was typically in the
60’s, but this declined to the 50’s during the next three years. During the Ken Bowman years,
the number of players at any given time gradually dropped from the 70’s to the 40’s. During the
“Barnhill Band” years (1998-2002) under Jerry Robbins, there were typically 70-85 players at any
given time during the academic year. After that, without the EMU affiliation, the number of players
at any given time was in the 50’s and 60’s, gradually increasing to the 70’s--and more--of
The 30 seasons of printed programs include 878 different individuals who have played with the
Band during that period. The mean number of seasons per player is three, but there is a dedicated
group of players who have or have had a long history with the Band.
Wayne Jahnke (trombone) and Lorne Kennedy (clarinet), both charter members, have completed their
30th season with YCB. Other long-serving members are the late Harold Goodsman (trumpet, a charter
member) with 29 seasons; George Craven (trumpet) with 27 seasons; and Jim McGraw (clarinet) with 26
seasons. Both Rich Valencourt (trumpet) and Tom Warner (percussion) have completed 25 seasons.
Val Kabat (bass clarinet) has 23 seasons to her credit and both George Appel (clarinet) and Jane
Bishop (horn) have 21 seasons in which they have participated. Wendell Birdsall (clarinet,
saxophone, etc.), the late Ken Bowman (tuba, conductor, and a charter member), Duane DeButts
(saxophone), and Earl Holbrook (trumpet) each were involved for 20 seasons.
David Peele (flute) and John Reves (trumpet) each have 19 seasons to their credit. Virgil
Christophel (tuba), Rich Cranston (percussion), and Judith Mohl (clarinet) each have 18 seasons.
Those who have been involved for 17 seasons include Lisa Q. Muenzenberger (clarinet, a charter
member), Jerry Robbins (trombone, conductor), Aaron Taratsas (percussion), Sandy Wagner (clarinet
and saxophone), and the late Carl Young (tuba).
Sixteen seasons of service have been contributed by Joe Burke (trumpet), the late Randy Katon
(percussion), Dick Pitcher (horn), and Erick Starnal (tuba). Ralph Cobb (trumpet), Laura Durham
(clarinet), the late Tom Herman (trombone, a charter member), Jon Kennedy (saxophone, a charter
member), Peter Sparks (trombone), and Michelle Tripp (clarinet) all have been involved for 15 of the
30 seasons. Another 110 persons have played between five and 14 seasons.
YCB - The Performances: As of the end of the 30th season, the YCB (and ensembles from the Band)
had performed at nearly 300 events, according to available records, with a range per season from two
(1979) to 19 (2007-08). The Band has increased its performance activity over time, as indicated by
the fact that 42% of all known performances have occurred during the most recent 1/3 of its life.
YCB - The Length of the Seasons: The first (organizational) season began with a February 20,
1979 rehearsal, included a May 4, 1979 concert in the Ypsilanti High School auditorium, and
concluded with a July 5, 1979 concert in Riverside Park. However, in seasons two through seven
(1979-1985), the season started with a concert relatively early in the calendar year (and rehearsals
that began in the late fall of the previous year) and concluded in mid-July. A late fall through
mid-August calendar of rehearsals and performances was maintained from season eight (1985-1986)
through season 20 (1997-1998). However, since 1998, the Band has been a “year-round” band, with
a September through mid-August rehearsal and performance season.
YCB - Indoor Performances 1979 to 1998: From 1979 through the spring of 1998, almost all indoor
concerts of the YCB were held in the auditorium of Ypsilanti High School. The few exceptions
included performances at the Ypsilanti Central Community Building (1980, 1984), Pease Auditorium at
EMU (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989), and Holy Trinity Chapel (1995). YCB provided the music for EMU’s
December 1987 Commencement Ceremonies in Bowen Field House. The YCB performed concerts in the West
Middle School gymnasium in 1996 and 1997.
YCB - Indoor (and fall/winter season) Performances 1998 to date: As a result of the Band’s
affiliation with EMU, all of the (Barnhill Band’s) indoor concerts from the fall of 1998 through
the spring of 2002 were held in Pease Auditorium at EMU. Since the fall of 2002, most of the
Band’s indoor concerts have been held in Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building at
Washtenaw Community College (WCC). There have been a number of interesting exceptions, which
include: 2002 - “Change of command” ceremony, Selfridge ANG base; 2005 - The first of four (to
date) consecutive annual invited appearances at the prestigious Red Cedar Festival of Community
Bands, held at Okemos (MI) High School; YCB Pep Band for ESPN’s live coverage of the Professional
Bowling Association finals, held in the EMU Convocation Center; Pease Auditorium, EMU, for a
re-creation of a Sousa Band concert; 2005-2007 - Brass quintet music once a year for Ypsilanti civic
events. A brass quintet also provided much of the music for Ken Bowman’s memorial service in
2007; 2007 - Senior citizens event, Ypsilanti Township Community Center; 2007-2008 - Lobby of Morris
Lawrence Building at WCC for ensemble concerts; 2008 – Whitmore Lake High School Auditorium, with
the Whitmore Lake High School Band; brass/percussion ensemble in a portion of the Ypsilanti
Community Choir’s (YCC) 25th anniversary concert at Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
YCB - Outdoor/Summer Concerts 1979 to present: From 1979 through 2005, the Band performed
frequently in the summer in Ypsilanti city parks—most frequently and originally in Recreation
Park, but later in Riverside, Prospect, and Candy Cane parks as well. Other outdoor/summer
performance locations have included: 1980 - Ypsilanti Regional Psychiatric Hospital; 1984 - St.
Matthews United Methodist Church; 1984, 1986, and 1987 - Manchester Chicken Broil; 1986 to date -
Annually at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. In 1989 the YCB also performed at ceremonies honoring
the 100th anniversary of the Ypsilanti water tower; 1988 - McAuley Health Center; 1988 to date -
Annually at the Yankee Air Museum Memorial Day ceremonies; 1989 - UM Hospital courtyard; 1989
through much of the ‘90’s - Annual concert in the Belleville area; 1999 - Downtown Ypsilanti -
Ypsilanti’s Depot Town; 2000 - EMU Lake House/University Park, for the annual convention of the
National Council of Professors of Educational Administration; 2001 - Near the Mark Jefferson plaza,
EMU campus; 2003 to date - EMU Convocation Center, annual pre-event concert and ceremonial music for
the United Association (plumbers and pipefitters) Completion Ceremony (affiliated with WCC). A
brass ensemble provided music for 2003 ceremonies at WCC related to new facilities for UA training
activities; 2006 - EMU Lakehouse/University Park; 2006-2007 - WCC’s Community Park; 2007 - Ford
Lake Park - Concordia University campus, part of a concert by three invited area adult bands; Ann
Arbor’s Top of the Park series (provided a 20-player “back up” ensemble for Lady Sunshine and
the X Band); 2007-2008 - Wilson Park in Milan - Pep Band for Dexter-Ann Arbor Run; 2008 -
Clarkston, MI, for joint/combined band concert with the Clarkston Community Band; Lakeshore
Apartments, Ford Lake, for a (rained out) concert and fireworks show; provided many of the
wind/percussion players for the pit orchestra for the Hartland Players production of “West Side
Guest conductors: Several prominent guest conductors have led the Band over the years. The
first of these was H. Robert Reynolds, then the Director of Bands at UM, in 1980. He was followed
the following year by Carl St. Clair, conductor of several prominent orchestras. Max Plank, former
Director of Bands at EMU, has guest conducted the band four times--1982, 1988, 1998, and 2000.
Michael Krajewski, then Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, was a guest conductor
in 1983. David Woike, then Assistant Director of Bands at EMU, guest conducted in 1997.
Soloists. In addition to a number of members of the YCB who have soloed with the band, guest
soloists have included Paul Bravender, baritone (1980, 1981); combined church choirs from the area
(1981); EMU marimba quartet (1982); Carter Eggers, trumpet (1983, 1987, 1988, and 2007); Al
Townsend, trombone (1984); the late Louis Stout, Sr. and Daniel Ross, horn duet (1986); Debbie Baer,
trumpet (1987); J. Whitney Prince, xylophone (1990); James Wagner, piano (1994); Kimberly Cole,
clarinet (1998); EMU Ballroom Dancers and EMU Swing Society (2000); hand bell choirs from the
Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor First United Methodist Churches (2000, 2005); David Vaughn, bass (2001,
2005, 2007, and 2008); Candice Johnson, soprano (2001); Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkevciene, organ (2002);
Scott Elsholz, organ (2002); Patrick Echlin and Kevin Trombley, trumpets (2004); Amy Feldkamp,
violin (2005); and Greg Hulbert and Scott Hulbert, marimba duet (2008).
Twirlers who have performed with the YCB during Heritage Festival concerts include Cara Jasiolek
(2001, 2002); Chelsea Palazolio (2003); Nathan Magyar (2004, 2005, and 2007); Mary Ciotta and Stacey
Girbach (2006); and Chrissy Houle and Conner Potter (2008). The Willow Run High School Junior ROTC
color guard presented the colors at 2006 and 2007 outdoor patriotic concerts.
A number of civic leaders have served as announcers for concerts. In addition, then-Mayor Cheryl
Farmer spoke at the Sousa Band anniversary concert in 2005, as did Mrs. Mary Ross Miller, who had
attended the Sousa Band concert 75 years earlier.
A memorable speaking appearance was that of “Queen Elizabeth, Too,” accompanied by “Prince
Philip,” as portrayed by the late Lila Green and her husband, at a 2002 concert of British band
music. Another memorable speaking appearance was that by Jon Margerum-Leys, playing the role of
announcer Ford Bond in the YCB’s 2007 re-creation of two radio broadcasts of the “Paul Lavalle
and the Cities Service Band of America” program.
YCB - Music performed: A tabulation compiled at the time of the YCB’s 25th anniversary showed
that the Band had performed, at that time, 624 different compositions. It is estimated that the
number now exceeds 750. The Band has performed most frequently “Star Spangled Banner” (at least
60 times), “Stars and Stripes Forever” (at least 58 times), and “America the Beautiful” (at
least 52 times).
The YCB has performed original compositions by several of its members, including Scott Guthre,
James Wagner, and Alan Singer, and transcriptions/arrangements by Band member George Appel. Several
other compositions are believed to have received their local-area premier in YCB concerts, one of
the recent ones being “The Story of the Five Joaquins” with composer Keith Otis Edwards in the
YCB - Special Concert Features: The YCB has celebrated its10th, 20th, and 25th anniversary
concerts with special programming, including inviting former conductors to participate. A memorial
tribute at concerts has been paid to Band members who have died, including William Wade, Thomas
Herman, Carl Young, Erika Anstett, Art Cofer, and Harold Goodsman. Living members of the original
Barnhill Band were recognized at a 2001 concert.
Many of the indoor concerts of the past decade have been “themed.” Two concerts of recent
years have required a good deal of historical research and other preparation in order to be
“authentic” in terms of implementing the theme.
The first of these was a re-creation of a Sousa Band concert, held in Pease Auditorium (the site
of three Sousa Band performances) on October 20, 2005, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the
final appearance in Ypsilanti of the Sousa Band. Almost all music on the program (which was
carefully structured like a Sousa Band concert) had been performed in Ypsilanti during one of the
three Sousa Band appearances in our community.
The second of these (October 25, 2007) was a re-creation of two 30-minute radio broadcasts of the
1950’s era “Paul Lavalle and the Cities Service Band of America” weekly radio programs. The
performance included verbatim (from actual broadcasts) commercials for Cities Service (now CITGO)
products and services, “on the air” and “applause” signs, vintage microphones, NBC chimes, a
male quartet, and careful timing to make sure each segment was exactly 30 minutes long.
YCB – Ensembles: Ensemble performances have been important during most of the history of the
YCB. There was a “jazz ensemble” that began in 1982 and which performed regularly as part of
concerts for several seasons after that. Later, the Riverside Big Band provided similar portions of
performances. Around 1989, there was a Dixieland group. Each December concert, starting in 1998
(with one exception), has included an ensemble feature.
Since 2006, there has been an annual Sunday afternoon Ensemble Concert in March, in which
numerous members of the Band (in some cases, joined by “friends” from other musical
organizations) have presented an entire program of music written for small groups.
YCB - Rehearsal Locations: Rehearsals were held in the band room of Ypsilanti High School from
the beginning through the summer of 1998. From the fall of 1998 through the summer of 2002, YCB
rehearsed at EMU as part of the “Barnhill Band” arrangement. In 2002-2003, the Band rehearsed
in the Morris Lawrence Building at WCC. Because of WCC’s space needs, the Band moved its
rehearsals to the band room at Ypsilanti’s West Middle School in the fall of 2003 and remained
there through 2007, with the exception of being elsewhere for three summers.
The YCB outgrew the capacity of the West Middle School band room. There were comfort and potential
safety problems because of the numbers, along with a lack of access to the facility from time to
time on rehearsal nights. For these reasons, possible (preferably free) alternative rehearsal
spaces were sought and considered. No appropriate space was to be found in the City of Ypsilanti or
Whitmore Lake High School (WLHS) offered the free use of highly-appropriate rehearsal space in a
new high school building, including storage space, and offered support in other important ways in
terms of lack of disruption of rehearsal schedules. After considerable discussion, the Band
accepted this offer and began rehearsals at WLHS in the fall of 2007. Rehearsals and storage have
continued there to this time.
YCB - Organizational Affiliations: From the beginning, the YCB has been structured as a “stand
alone” organization, deriving no formal financial or logistical support from any other civic or
governmental organization. This structure has been maintained to the present time, with the
exception of the fall 1998 to summer 2002 period when, for many purposes, YCB was part of the
University Bands program of the Department of Music at EMU. Even during that time, the formal,
legal structure of “Ypsilanti Community Band” was maintained.
The YCB is a member of the Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Concert
Bands. It has been the beneficiary of substantial in-kind services from such local organizations as
the Ypsilanti schools, EMU, WCC, the Lincoln schools, Whitmore Lake schools, the City of Ypsilanti,
Ypsilanti First United Methodist Church, and numerous other governmental and private organizations
in the area.
YCB - Special Projects: The YCB assisted with the organization of the Ypsilanti Community Choir
(YCC) during the 1983-1984 season and the two musical organizations have shared an annual concert
since that time. Alan Singer was the winner of an original composition competition in
In 2007, the YCB created the Kenneth Bowman Memorial Scholarship to be awarded each year to a
middle or high school band student in the county to attend the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. The first
award was made in 2008 to Isabell “Izzy” Salley, a trumpet player from Clague Middle School in
In memory of a long-time community musician, the Band created the Harold Goodsman Award, to be
presented each year to a YCB member who has contributed outstanding service to the Band in addition
to playing. Aaron Taratsas received the first such award in 2007.
In memory of charter member and 10-year conductor Ken Bowman, the Band created the Bowman
Memorial Music Fund. This fund receives donations from Band members and other friends to purchase
new music. In addition, the YCB Board has established a policy that at least once each year the Band
will perform a joint concert with an area middle- or high school band, giving young musicians an
opportunity to play side-by-side with more experienced players. The first such concert was held in
2007 and involved the Whitmore Lake High School Band directed by Mike Kirby.
YCB - Equipment and Storage: From 1979 through 2002, the YCB owned little equipment. Wind
instrument players were (and still are) expected to provide their own instruments. With the
exception of some very basic instruments, percussion players used equipment privately owned or owned
by the Ypsilanti schools or EMU. Storage was a very minor problem.
In 2002, as rehearsals and performances began at WCC, YCB found itself seriously short of access
to major percussion equipment. Major fund-raising efforts were undertaken to buy first two, and
then four, matched timpani, along with chimes and other large and expensive percussion instruments.
Additional percussion equipment has been acquired since that time, along with an outdoor sound
system, music stands, and other accessories. Between 2002 and 2007, much equipment and library
storage was in commercial facilities and in band member’s homes.
YCB – Library: Similar to the situation with equipment, YCB owned little music in the years
between 1979 and 2002. During this time, almost everything played by the YCB was music borrowed
from the host institution (YHS or EMU) or from other local-area high school band libraries. A 1991
library inventory shows that YCB owned only 64 titles at that time, all of which easily fit in one
However, in 2002, YCB began the systematic acquisition of almost all of the music it has played
from that point forward. As of this writing, the YCB library contains more than 450 band
arrangements, with a goal of acquiring more than 30 additional ones each year.
YCB – Financing: The YCB has always operated on a principle of relying heavily on donated
services—personnel services, rehearsal and performance space, and the like. Expenses were modest
during the first 24 seasons and largely were met, through much of the history of the Band, by
numerous relatively small donations by members and patrons. For example, during calendar year
1980, the Band had expenses of only $237.86. The Band received a small grant from the Michigan
Council for the Arts during 1979-80 to secure special guest artists and for various Band promotional
An annual pie sale started in 1991. Membership dues were initiated in 2002. Advertising in the
printed program began with the 2004-2005 season. Some of the major advertisers of recent times
include Armstrong Art Studio, Close to My Heart, Fourth Wish, Huron Valley Ambulance, Pentamere
Winery, Ride-Life Photography, and the Ypsilanti Area Credit Union.
Although the Band always received relatively small amounts of money for performing at such events
as the Yankee Air Museum Memorial Day activities and the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, in 2003 YCB
began receiving larger amounts of money for various summer performances. More intensive
fund-raising for the Band’s general fund began around 2007, with a particular focus on
solicitation of larger gifts and on soliciting concert sponsorships. Some of the major donors of
recent times, including concert sponsorships, include an anonymous donor, Alan Aldworth, Suzanne
Beutler, Mary Bowman, Don and Barbara Chaffin, Walton and Charlene Hancock, Jim and Mille Irwin,
Catherine and Greg Mickle, and U Haul of South State Street.
As a result of these various fund-raising efforts, the band’s budget has increased rapidly in
recent years to more than $22,000 per year, not including money related to the Bowman Scholarship
Fund or the Bowman Music Fund. All personal services and use of space continue to be donated.
YCB - Governance Documents - Local documents: A constitution and bylaws document was drafted in
the weeks immediately after the January 22, 1979 organizational meeting and quickly adopted. This
document easily fit on a few sheets of paper and received minor amendments from time to time over
the next 27 years. In 2006, the Board and the Band were persuaded to adopt a total replacement
document—one of 15 pages in length—that some say is much better suited to a different type of
organization than it is to the YCB. Further amendments were made in 2008. Board policies and
reference material were put into handbook format and first issued for 2007-2008.
YCB – Governance Documents - State and Federal Documents: With the assistance of John Barr,
long-time Ypsilanti City Attorney, who donated his services during the early years of the Band’s
organization, various state and federal documents were prepared, including articles of incorporation
and state and federal tax-related documents. Incorporators were Lynn Cooper, Amy Lawrence, Mark
McClure, Glenn Fuller, Ken Bowman, Tim Vesey, Rosie Cooper, Harold Goodsman, Cheryl Waldenmeyer, and
Giles Carter. The YCB has maintained 501(c) (3) status since the early years.
YCB - Officers and Board Members: YCB has been governed over the years by a 10-12 member Board of
Directors elected from among the playing membership of the Band. Leadership of the YCB has been
ably provided by its chairs/presidents over the years. The chairs of the Board were Mark McClure
(1979-80), the late Harold Goodsman (1980-1986), Lisa Querfeld Muenzenberger (1986-1992), Jim McGraw
(1992-2002) and Jennifer (Peters) Lowenberg (2002-2007). Meagan Bush (2007-2008) and Carter Adler
(2008-present) have served as presidents of the band.
YCB – Publicity: The YCB has received generous publicity from the local-area print (and, to a
lesser extent, electronic) media throughout its history, particularly from the former Ypsilanti
Press. Using donated hosting services provided by WCC, YCB first posted a web site several years
ago. With the help of donated design services, this site was substantially re-worked and the
revisions went “live” in January 2008. It has since been expanded considerably in terms of the
content included. The site may be found at www.ypsicommband.org.
YCB - The Future: In 2006, the Board considered (and later formally adopted) a “Vision
Statement” that provides that “by the year 2011, the Ypsilanti Community Band (YCB) can be
described as follows: . . . . .” The Board subsequently adopted a Five-Year Plan and a succession
of One-Year Plans to implement this “vision.”
At the time of this writing, the YCB is approximately half way through this five-year planning
period and is generally “on schedule” (ahead in some respects, behind in others) to accomplish
and implement all the provisions of the Five-Year Plan (and thus the provisions of the Vision
Statement) by 2011.
Assuming this progress continues, by 2011 the YCB should be accomplishing, far better than ever,
Lynn Cooper’s 1979 dream of a community concert band that would educate and stimulate members in
addition to providing an entertaining opportunity for large and diverse audiences.
An expanded, detailed version of this history, with citations, is posted on the Band’s web
site. For that and other information about the Ypsilanti Community Band, see the “About Us”
section of www.ypsicommband.org.
(Dr. Jerry Robbins, former Dean of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University, has
served as director of the Ypsilanti Community Band since 1998.)
Photo 1: Paul Stanifer, the Ypsilanti Community Band’s second conductor, leading the Band at
Ypsilanti High School in 1986.
Photo 2: Harold Goodsman (right), a charter member of the Ypsilanti Community Band, who had 80 years
of experience playing in area bands at the time of his death, and others in the YCB trumpet section
at a 1990 concert.
Photo 3: Lynn Cooper conducts the first rehearsal of the Ypsilanti Community Band at Ypsilanti High
School in February, 1979.
Photo 4: Jerry Robbins with the Ypsilanti Community Band in Recreation Park in June, 2004.
Photo 5:Ypsilanti Community Band in Pease Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University in December,
Photo 6: The third conductor of the Ypsilanti Community Band, Dr. Charles Lee, leads the band in a
1987 outdoor concert.
Photo 7: Founding Director Lynn Cooper conducts the Ypsilanti Community Band in Recreation Park in
Photo 8: Ken Bowman, the fourth conductor, leads the Ypsilanti Community Band in a 1993 concert.
Photo 9: YCB conductor Jerry Robbins as Paul Lavalle, in YCB re-creation of “Paul Lavalle and the
Cities Service Band of America” radio broadcasts in October, 2007.
Photo 91: Ypsilanti Community Band in performance at the Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands in
Okemos in February, 2007.
Photo 92: Ypsilanti Community Band in performance at the Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands in
Okemos in February, 2007.
Photo 93: Ypsilanti Community Band in performance at Yankee Air Museum Memorial Day Ceremonies in
Photo 94: Charter (and continuous) YCB member Wayne Jahnke performs on his trombone during a 2004
concert of the Ypsilanti Community Band.
Photo 95: Erik Starnal performs a tuba solo with the Ypsilanti Community Band in concert at
Washtenaw Community College in 2005.
Photo 96: Charter (and continuous) YCB member Lorne Kennedy (left) and Andrea Duval prepare for a
2006 Ypsilanti Community Band concert.