King Band previews upcoming winter season

The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge has recently announced the dates for its upcoming 2024 indoor winter concert season. Three concert dates have been scheduled on Feb. 18, March 17 and April 21. All concerts begin at 3:30 p.m. and will be held in the Fort Dodge Middle School auditorium, 800 N. 32nd St. There is no admission charge, with these concerts being provided by the City of Fort Dodge.

Karl King was born on Feb 21, 1891, in Paintersville, Ohio. After his childhood in Ohio, he left home at the age of 19 and traveled for nine years with several different circuses, played and 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. They later moved to Fort Dodge in the fall of 1920, along with their infant son, when he began a 50-year career leading the Fort Dodge Municipal Band.

The Feb. 18 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, including his most famous, often-recorded march, “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite,” and his finest non-march work, “The Golden Dragon Overture.”

The March 17 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 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.” This concert will feature music from well-known composers Leroy Anderson, George M. Cohan and Karl L. King.

The April 21 concert will be the band’s annual Scholarship Concert, where talented high school seniors and college freshmen audition for three scholarships that the band annually awards. In addition, a variety of band music will be performed during this hour-long concert as the band members celebrate youth and the joy of spring. Musical selections include Karl King’s “Fountain of Youth Overture,” a medley of well-known classic Hollywood movie themes, along with compositions by John Philip Sousa, Percy Grainger and J.S. Bach.


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