Southeastern Wisconsin and the Milwaukee metro area are very fortunate to have an active arts scene. The number of community bands and orchestras is huge compared to other areas of the country. A friend of mine moved to the South where there were two community bands in the entire state. He's glad to be back here and playing every week - it is a type of relaxation he can get nowhere else.
If you have thought about getting back into playing, or you were just interested in the different groups in the area, this post is for you. I've published this information for the last few years, and I still get emails from folks new to the area looking for a group to play with. It all comes down to a simple fact: if you live in the Milwaukee area and want to play with a community music group, there are lots of opportunities at all skill levels!
Here's the list that I have. If you have more information about other groups, send me an email and I'll add it to this post.
Sunday: The Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Concert Band is under the direction of Karen Lippert. They welcome all players regardless of ability and play traditional concert band music. You can check their web site for more information.
Monday: The Menomonee Falls Symphony, under the direction of Mike Kamenski, rehearses on Monday evenings in Sussex at Hamilton High School. An audition is required. You can get more information on the concerts, and on joining the orchestra, from their web site.
Tuesday: The Wauwatosa Community Band, under the direction of Donna Kummer, rehearses at Longfellow Middle School. Tosa Band performs as a symphonic band and also as Tosa Jazz, so folks who like both genres of music may find a good fit with this group. See their web site for more information.
Tuesday: For the folks in the western suburbs, the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band also rehearses on Tuesday. The group is directed by Rick Kirby, who has also composed music for some of the concerts. Their web site also has more information.
Tuesday: The Milwaukee Festival Brass, the only British style Brass Band in the area, rehearses on Tuesday as well. This group is unique in that they have an apprentice program for high school students as well as a youth British Brass Band. All the details are on their site.
Wednesday: The Concord Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Jamin Hoffman, rehearses at Nicolet High School and requires an audition. See their web site for information.
Wednesday: The Milwaukee American Legion Band is a traditional, patriotic-style community band. They are directed by Mike Van Pelt. Their site has information on their history, which is extensive, and on joining.
Wednesday: The Lakeshore Symphonic Band serves the north shore and Ozaukee County communities, performing their concerts at the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center. Click here for their information.
Wednesday: The Knightwind Ensemble performs difficult music, and as a result, auditions are required. Their web site has all the audition information.
Thursday: The Milwaukee Concert Band is another group with a long history, having been sponsored at one time by the Civic Music Association. See their new web site for more information.
Thursday: The Suburban Concert Band is based in West Allis and is sponsored by the West Allis Rec department. They also use a Facebook and you can find it here.
Thursday: The Greenfield Concert Band is relatively new, having been in existence for only a few years. They rehearse at Greenfield High School in the Performing Arts Center and do require an audition in order to place new members into the sections. See their web site for information.
Thursday: The Greendale Village Band welcomes members of all playing abilities. They are a part of the School System in the Village of Greendale, and you can get more information from their web page.
And if I missed information on your group, send me an email and I'll be sure to post it.