History of the Band
Uncle Sam's Band performs at McCamly Place (1988-89) Paul Reid, Conductor

History of the Band

The Cereal City Concert Band is a small all-volunteer, non-profit organization which consists of approximately 50 members, ranging from the ages of 16 to 85.

The ensemble is comprised of musicians from the Battle Creek community and its surrounding areas. The origin of this group was derived from a government agency Quality Circle Change Initiative, recommending that a Federal Center band be organized to play for internal Federal Center functions.

The group was started in December 1987 by fourteen employees from various government agencies within the Battle Creek Federal Center, playing simple Christmas Carols at lunchtime. The band grew and became known as Uncle Sam's Band.

The Battle Creek Band Co. performs on the main stage at McCamly Place in Kellogg Arena in downtown Battle Creek, featuring patriotic sounds for your luncheon and shopping entertainment. (April 17, 1993)

The original band played some 26 engagements their first year together, including Change of Command ceremonies, retirements, picnics, and lunchtime concerts for special occasions such as Veteran's Day and Valentine's Day. They also collaborated with the local Toastmasters Club, providing special performances for the Battle Creek Public School System elementary schools. In July 1992, the band reorganized as a 501(c)3 tax exempt (non-profit) organization, complete with a board of directors and band by-laws, and changed its name to the Battle Creek Band Company, focusing on Battle Creek community service events. It was incorporated on September 16, 1992 as a Michigan nonprofit corporation. In January 1998, the band reorganized again, calling itself the Cereal City Winds, eventually changing the name to the present Cereal City Concert Band (CCCB).

Battle Creek Band Co. performing on the mobile stage in downtown Battle Creek for the annual Cereal Festival (June 1993)

Over the years, the leadership of the band changed as well. It was originally directed by Paul Reid, followed by Dick Day, Gretchen Struble, Jennifer Culler, Ed Zentera, Dr. Jeananne Nichols, Dr. Samuel McIlhagga, and Darin Schmidt.

Under the direction of our current conductor, Dr. Stephen White who joined us in 2017, the band continues to perform formal concerts and community service events.

Original Uncle Sam's Band members Gary Steiner, Kathy Philo, Heather Lane-Fowler, and Barb Myckowiak at All-American Day program at the Federal Center (July 2016)

As the band grew in numbers and expanded its activities, it was necessary to seek financial support. Throughout the years, grant applications resulted in support from the Miller Foundation, Binda Foundation, Arts & Industry Council, Feldpausch Foundation, Women Who Care, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support has also been provided by many businesses and individual donors.