Save the Long Beach Municipal Band; city continues search for funds

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Noted composer Herbert L. Clarke surrounded by the Long Beach Municipal Band Majorettes. The Long Beach Municipal Band is an historical treasure that has been playing music for more than 100 years.

5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske has posted several articles on her blog to help residents understand the budget breakdown for the summer concerts and the Long Beach Municipal Band.

Each summer the City spends $432,000 or $16,000 each concert for this 101 year tradition. A detailed memo prepared by City Manager Pat West outlines the costs involved.

Mayor Bob Foster stated at Tuesday’s Council Meeting that he is committed to finding a solution to the funding of the Long Beach Municipal Band.

One solution to maintain the funding of the Long Beach Municipal Band is for the City to find corporate sponsors.

Schipske is sending letters to Long Beach businesses in hopes that they will provide corporate sponsorships. The councilmember has posted a list of major local businesses with contact information and she’s hoping that residents will join in the fight to save the Summer Concerts by sending letters asking for support of the Long Beach Municipal Band.

Here is a copy of the letter that Schipske is sending:

Because your company operates in the City of Long Beach you understand how important it is to have programs which celebrate the history of this great city and which also enrich the quality of life for our residents.

That’s why I am contacting you today. One of the last remaining historical icons in our city — the Long Beach Municipal Band — is facing economic problems which seriously threaten  its future.

This is no ordinary band. Every summer thousands of people gather on a weekly basis throughout parks in the City of Long Beach to listen to the finest Municipal Bands in the nation.  For the last 101 years, the Long Beach Municipal Band has brought enjoyment to community members of all ages. This wonderful ensemble include the best of the Southern California’s symphony, studio recording and jazz performers. This diversity of talent provides Long Beach audiences with impressive concerts of jazz, movie, musical and light classical literature.

However, after 101 years of music, the future of the Long Beach Municipal Band is in jeopardy.  Historically the band has been funded at taxpayer expense.  Unfortunately, these difficult economic times have resulted in the City Manager recommending that the current level of funding for the Municipal Band not be sustained.

We need a corporate partner or several corporate partners to help us maintain this rich tradition of music and culture.  Rescuing the Long Beach Municipal Band would bring a great deal of notoriety to your company and help continue the tradition of music, family and the great out doors.

Please contact my office to discuss how we can arrange your sponsorship. My Chief of Staff, Josh Butler, can be reached at: 562-570-6932.  I want to thank you in advance for your consideration of this special sponsorship opportunity.

Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske

For more information about the budget for the Long Beach Municipal Band including names and addresses for potential sponsors, visit Schipske’s blog.

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