Thursday, August 21, 2008

As promised, here's the list!

As promised, here is the list that I have of the community music groups in the Milwaukee Area, the nights they rehearse, and other information. This will give you all an understanding of the different groups, what they offer, and how to contact them. If you'd like more information about a particular group, send me an email at bigbruceb at yahoo dot com, and I'll get it to the correct person.

The post is organized by the day of the group rehearsals. Here we go:

Sunday: There is one group rehearsing on Sunday evening, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Concert Band. The band is always looking for new members. If an audition is needed, it is in order to determine where a person would sit. The group performs a more traditional concert band repertoire, and performs most of the year. The group is lead by conductor Karen Lippert. Unfortunately the group does not have a web site at this time. If you're interested in more information, please send me an email and I'll forward it to the conductor.

Monday: There is a community orchestra rehearsing on Monday evenings, the Menomonee Falls Symphony, directed by Mike Kamenski. Auditions are required. The group performs traditional symphony orchestra works. To get more information, see the web site:

Tuesday: There are three groups rehearsing on Tuesday evening: the Wauwatosa Community Band, the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band, and the Milwaukee Festival Brass, the area's only British style brass band. First, the Wauwatosa Community Band is sponsored in part by the Wauwatosa Parks and Rec department and welcomes any and all players. Their concerts are lighter in nature with some more serious works for band. See their web site for more information: http://www.arcfile/com/wcb/index.html

Also on Tuesday is the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. WASB performs more serious works and more difficult works for band. Auditions are required. Their web site is If you have problems displaying the web site, I do know that their site maintenance is going on now. Send me an email and I'll forward your contact info to the correct people.

Finally on Tuesday is the Milwaukee Festival Brass directed by Dr. Pat Backhaus, one of my favorite groups. If you are a brass or percussion player, this group offers something different from most community groups as the instrumentation is that of a traditional British Brass Band. The music is a wide variety from Pops favorites to very difficult brass band competition pieces. Auditions are required. See the web site for more info:

Wednesday: There are three groups rehearsing on Wednesday evening: the Sudler Award Winning Knightwind Ensemble, the Lakeshore Symphonic Band, and the Milwaukee American Legion Band. The Legion band is modeled on the traditional patriotic military band. Not sure if they require auditions. Please see the web site for more information:

The Lakeshore Symphonic Band is located in Ozaukee County in Grafton. Their performances are at the Cedarburg Arts Center. You can get more information from their web site:

The Knightwind Ensemble also rehearses on Wednesday evening. The Ensemble specializes in performing newer works for band and wind symphony. Their web site has the list of the pieces performed in concert over the past 10 years plus, and it includes international award winning pieces. Auditions are required, and the band will add you to the waiting list if the section is full. See the web site for more information: The Ensemble received the Sudler Silver Scroll from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in December of 2005. of the tens of thousands of community bands eligible for the award, the Knightwind Ensemble is one of 34 groups to EVER receive the award. Quite the accomplishment!

Thursday: Three groups rehearse on Thursday evening. The first is the Milwaukee Concert Band. As they do not ave a web site, it is difficult to get information about the group. However, if you are interested in a Thursday rehearsal, send me an email and I will make sure that the director receives it. Also rehearsing on Thursday is the Suburban Concert Band in West Allis, and the Greendale Village Band. These groups do not have web sites either. However, the Wisconsin Music Group Band list at has contact information for them. The problem is that the list is a bit out of date and I do not know if the contact information is correct or not. However, if you are interested in these groups, this is the best information available.

And that wraps up the list of community music groups in the Milwaukee area. If I missed one that you know of, please email me or add a comment to the post. I'll be sure to add it to the list.


Anonymous said...

is there a community band in New Berlin ?

BruceB said...

The City of New Berlin Web Site (in the Rec department section)references a community band, but offers no contact information. I do not know of people in that band, so I am not sure if the info on the City web site is current or not. Best to call the City and get the scoop from them. If you do so, please post the information and I can add it to the list. Thanks for bringing it up.

Patrick Trautfield said...

Hi Bruce, great blog, I just discovered it today. I recently moved to Milwaukee from California and am really interested in joining a community band, be it a concert band or a jazz/big band. I noticed that you listed all of the concert band type groups in Milwaukee, but where can I find information on the area's Jazz bands? I know that these community bands are your focus, but ideally, I'd like to be involved in both types!

Thanks so much for the work you put in here!


BruceB said...

Hi Patrick. Welcome to Milwaukee. Hope you can put up with our winters!

Yes, there is a jazz big band that is a part of the Wauwatosa Community Band. I've sent an email to the director, but she has not gotten back to me about any openings. Rather than keep you waiting, you may want to try contacting her through the Wauwatosa Rec department, or their web site:

Good Luck and Thanks for reading.