Today, the Beale Park Band is a 40 piece military styled band, directed by Douglas Kelley, that plays summer concerts in Bakersfield’s Beale Park on Sunday evenings during June of each year. The repertoire revolves around Marches, Overtures, Musicals, Show Tunes, Waltzes and Polkas, concluding with a Sousa March. Concerts are from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm beginning on the second Sunday in June, culminating with a Patriotic program on the Sunday before the Fourth of July.
The band was first formed by the Musician’s Union in 1906 and has played intermittently throughout most of the Twentieth Century. The early concerts were played at 19th and Chester which was considered the center of early Bakersfield. They then moved to City Hall Park located at Truxten and Chester. Under the direction of Laurie Foster in 1954, the band moved permanently to the Greek Theater in Beale Park where it remains today. During the 1990’s, while the band was being conducted by Wes Moore, it formed an alliance with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. This allowed the band to continue after the demise of the local Musician’s Union. Although the BSO serves as the band’s fiscal agent, all funding is generated solely through donations.
The band’s manager, Cyndi Hicks, spends countless hours fundraising to keep this wonderful tradition alive. Any amount is appreciated, and all donations are tax deductible! If you would like to make a donation towards The Beale Park Band you can do so over the phone by calling the BSO office at (661)323-7928, or by check. Please make all checks payable to: BSO (specify Beale Park Band in the memo). All donations may be dropped off or mailed to the BSO Office: 1328 34th Street, Suite A Bakersfield, CA 93301.