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King Band previews upcoming winter season

The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge is getting set to begin its 2020 winter season. Three concert dates have been scheduled on Sunday, Feb. 23; Sunday, March 15; and Sunday, April 19. All concerts begin at 3:30 p.m. The February concert will be held at the Fort Dodge Middle School Auditorium, while the March and April concerts will be held in Decker Auditorium on the Iowa Central Community College campus in Fort Dodge. There is no admission charge, with these concerts being provided by the city of Fort Dodge.

Jerrold P. Jimmerson is currently in his 17th season as conductor of the band after a 43 year playing career, 11 of which were under the baton of Karl L. King. Dr. David Klee currently serves as the assistant conductor and solo flautist of the band.

Karl King was born on Feb. 21, 1891 in Paintersville, Ohio. After his childhood in Ohio, he left at the age of 19 and traveled for nine years with several different circuses, conducted several of their bands, and reached the pinnacle of success as conductor of the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus Band during the 1917 and 1918 seasons.

He returned to his hometown of Canton, Ohio, after his trouping days were done in November of 1918 to settle down with his wife, Ruth, and to direct the local G.A.R. Band there. This Feb. 22 concert will be the band’s annual tribute to former conductor Karl L. King in honor of his birthday. A special afternoon of band music is being planned to include some of King’s best-known and most popular compositions, along with some of his music that was published 100 years ago in 1920.

The March 15 concert will be the band’s annual Irish concert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This concert dates back to the early days of the Band under Mr. King’s direction. A wide variety of Irish music is being planned, and will include an audience sing-along and everyone’s favorite Irish tune, “McNamara’s Band.”

The April 19 concert has become two-fold in nature in recent years. It is the band’s annual Scholarship Concert, where talented high school seniors and college freshmen audition for three scholarships that the band annually administers. In addition, this concert will tie into the annual cultural emphasis for Iowa Central Community College. This year’s featured country is Spain, and several musical selections are being planned to showcase this region.

The Municipal Band will then perform at the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in Fort Dodge on May 25 before beginning a series of eight summer concerts every Sunday evening, beginning June 7 through July 26 at the historic Karl L. King Band Shell in Oleson Park.