NewsPositively Oklahoma


POSITIVELY OKLAHOMA: Tulsa Community Band spreading harmony since 1938

Posted at 5:00 PM, May 24, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — One of Tulsa's oldest bands will hold a special concert Memorial Day weekend, and you're invited to attend for free.

The Tulsa Community Band is made up of volunteers who donate their time and talent.

"We play because we love music, and we love to perform," said Barbara Ferguson, a long-time member. "I love the camaraderie of all the different players. They come from all different walks of life," said Jim Jefferies, who has been with the band for years.

Around 70 Green Country musicians make up the band.

"A lot of former and retired band directors. We have dentists, we have bankers, lawyers, so a little bit of everything," said Ferguson.

"None of us get any money for it, and we love it. We don't want money because we love to sit down and rehearse these wonderful tunes that we play," said Jefferies.

They play tunes like America the Beautiful, melodies the band has played for decades.

"We are one of the oldest musical organizations in the city," said Jefferies.

The Tulsa Community Band was originally formed in 1938 as the American Legion Band.

While the faces have changed, the mission of serving the community has stayed the same.

Jefferies said, "We played for the Route 66 openings, we played for the Bixby Corn festival, but we also played for senior services and different organizations that want to hear beautiful concert music and patriotic music and all that kind of thing."

There are three simple rules to joining the band: you must be at least 18, proficient in your instrument in high school or above, and love to play.

Justin McGuire hadn't played in many years.

"I was very rusty," said McGuire.

But that didn't stop him from recently signing up.

"I hadn't been in a band room in some 20 years, so I just walked in, and I definitely was the newbie, but they're so welcoming and so nice; I just fell in with them, and it's been a blast. I really enjoy it," said McGuire.

Rehearsals run for a couple of hours each week.

"We play a wide variety of music, so it's fun!" said Ferguson.

From Billy Joel to Francis Scott Key, striking each note is important, but these band members say the audience's reaction at showtime is music to their ears.

"Look out there and see all the joy on people's faces, seeing how happy they are that we're playing that's the best part," said McGuire.

"It's fun to see them tapping their feet. Some of the people, when we finish a tune, they're clapping and hoot and hollering," said Ferguson.

The Tulsa Community Band will hold a patriotic-themed concert at Memorial Park, 5111 South Memorial Drive, Tulsa, on Monday, May 27, at 9:30 a.m. The concert will be held on the North side of the cemetery in the Veteran's area.

Band members say it's one of their favorite concerts each year.

You can learn more about the band here.

Want positive news in your email every Friday? SIGN UP for our Positively Oklahoma newsletter.

For more Positively Oklahoma stories visit our website

Join our Positively Oklahoma Facebook group to submit your photos of great things you see across the state.