The Arkansas City Community Band will begin its 147th season this month as rehearsals start May 22.

It is thought to be the oldest continuous organization of its kind in the state. The band plays a wide variety of music throughout the summer, trying to find music that will please everyone’s tastes at least some of the time, according to a news release from band director Chris VanGilder.

The band is open to wind and percussion musicians of high school age or older.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a high school or college student, a longtime member of the group, or a community member who hasn’t played in a while who wants try their hand at it again, there is a spot for you,” VanGilder said.

This summer will feature several special concerts, the first of which will be at 7:30 p.m. May 31 in front of the Burford Theatre.

After that will be a regular concert on June 7 at the Wilson Park rotunda, located at 701 N. Summit St.

At 7 p.m. June 14, the band will host the 312th Army Reserve Band under the rotunda. The 312th Army Reserve Band was activated on Oct. 1, 1973, in Lawrence as part of the 89th Army Reserve Command, headquartered in Wichita.

The band schedules 15 to 25 performances each year and has performed for the Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland A’s, National Boy Scout Jamboree, Kansas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Convention of the Association of the United States Army and, most recently, Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The 312th Army Reserve Band is under the direction of CW2 Nicholas Proctor.

The following week will feature a special combined concert with the Winfield City Band.

The two bands will combine to perform under the rotunda on June 21 and then in Winfield on June 22.

Concerts will continue through the second week in July. All community band concerts are free and open to the public, and most will include some form of food provided by local sponsors.

Rehearsals start 7 p.m. May 22 in the Arkansas City High School band room, located at 1200 W. Radio Lane.

Those interested in joining the band or who have questions may contact VanGilder at