History of Village Band

Mitchel BandThe Libertyville Village Band-1898 The history of the Libertyville Village Band is difficult because there is so little written about it. We can find some history in photos and postcards of the band, and a few news articles. Some of them have some information written on them.

The early bands were small, often having only one person playing each part. The first mention of a band is a photo dating back to 1898. They had very ornate white uniforms.

A picture of a band in black uniforms is noted as the Mitchel Band. Mitchel was the director and the band was about twice the size as the 1898 band. We don’t have a date, but the photo of the band is at the Lake County Fair Grounds when it was in Libertyville. The fair was held in the northeast corner of town.

In the 1930’s there is a picture postcard of a band directed by Charles Nicholls and assisted by Thomas Hiddleson. The band is in black uniforms and has many more band members. They boasted a Special Sound Amplifying System. This was nothing but a reconstructed water tower top from the old Ansel B. Cook estate.

Percy Snow became the director of this band and it lasted until the early 40’s when the band stopped because of World War II. Many of the musicians of this band performed in shows at the Genesee Theater in Waukegan. At this time Mundelein started a village band under the direction of Thomas Hiddleson.

There was no village band from that time until 30 years later when two men from the village asked the Village Board if they could organize a band to play concerts in the summer evenings in Cook Park. Terry Hatch and Dick George were granted permission and Libertyville once more had a community band. From small beginnings it has grown in quality and now boasts 60 plus members. The first director of the band was Gail Williams. David Kublank became director in 1978 and has been director for 30 years. Beginning with the 2009 season, Dustin Helvie became the new director for one season, and in 2010 Corey Ames was appointed as the new director.

Libertyville students and adults as well as other Lake County musicians make up the band.
The band has provided music in the park, and for the Fourth of July concerts, for the last 30 some years.
David Kublank
Director Emeritus
Friday, May 01, 2009