|The Camden Community Concert Band held its organizational meeting and first rehearsal on March 10, 1980, with 52 members in attendance. The first concert was presented eight weeks later on May 4, 1980, as a part of Camden's MAD (Music, Arts, Drama) Festival. Membership in the band is open to any adult with prior band experience. No high school students are accepted, but high school graduates become eligible for membership in the summer following their graduation. College students who are home for the summer months (or who are commuting students) are welcome to participate in the band providing they can meet the requirements of rehearsal and performance attendance. There are no auditions for admission to the band, or for seats in the band. The band currently has 35 active members drawn from the communities of Camden, Lugoff, Elgin, Bethune, Ridgeway, Lancaster, Columbia, West Columbia, and Cayce. Several of our members also participate in community bands in their home towns.
The purpose of the band is to provide an opportunity for its members to continue to develop and use those skills which were gained during the years of formal education, and to provide free public concerts for the citizens of the community. The band rehearses on Monday evenings from 7-9:00 PM, September through May, in the Camden Middle School Bandroom. The use of these facilities has been made available at no charge through the cooperation and generosity of Camden Middle School and the Kershaw County School Board. Our normal performance schedule includes two concerts in one of Camden's lovely parks (October and April) and two more formal concerts - one at Christmas, and the other in early March.
The band has made several guest appearances, including being the first community band ever to perform for both the South Carolina Music Educators Association's annual In-Service Conference (1981), and the University of South Carolina Concert Clinic and Conductors Symposium (1982). The band also performed for the National Band Association's Fifth Biennial Convention in 1984. The band appeared in the 1991 ASBDA Annual Convention in Charleston, SC, and on January 1, 1992, the band became the first American community band to participate in the Lord Mayor of Westminister's New Year's Day Spectacular in The Royal Albert Hall, London, England. The band has commissioned several original works by USC Composer Dick Goodwin (all unpublished) , has two published commissions by Warren Barker, and participated in a third commission with the public school bands of Kershaw County, premiering the work by noted composer James Curnow. A new commission by outstanding composer Robert Sheldon is scheduled to be premiered in the spring of 2003.
The Camden Community Concert Band is a certified non-profit tax exempt organization, 501(c)(3) and is supported financially by the dues of its members, advertisements in concert programs, and donations from individuals and businesses in the community.