The Easton Municipal Band was originally founded as the Brown and Lynch American Legion Band in 1934. It was started by members of the Brown and Lynch American Legion Post #9. The Post had been established in 1920 and the Post home was at 337 Ferry Street in Easton. One of its first appearances was noted by the Easton Express as participating in the 1936 Memorial Day Parade. Its first conductor was Anthony Luchetti, who led the Band from its founding until 1958.
Unfortunately, in October 1974, a fire destroyed the Brown and Lynch Post on Northampton Street and the Band lost its records, much of its library, instruments, uniforms and equipment. The members, led by president John Falcone, endeavored to keep the band going. They even managed to march in the Easton Halloween Parade later that month. Funds and help were forthcoming from the community and the band was able to have a full summer concert season in 1975.
A major supporter of the Band's recovery was the Easton Moose Lodge on South 4th Street. They provided a rent free facility for our storage and rehearsals. In l976 the Band decided to make an agreement to affiliate with the Moose Lodge and rename itself The Easton Moose Band. From l976 through 1987 the Band had a most successful run, participating in many parades and holding concerts throughout the community. The Peace Candle Lighting, Heritage Day and concerts at Riverside Park and Meuser Park were among the many venues. In 1987 the Moose Lodge closed and the Band was again without a home.
After the closing of the Moose Lodge, the Band was able to find rehearsal and storage space at the YWCA on North 3rd Street. Not wanting to have to struggle with any more name changes, another set of bylaws was adopted and we began our current era as the Easton Municipal Band. Director Gerald Bender, a music teacher in the Easton school district, was able to arrange a move to the Easton Middle school at 12th and Northampton Streets.
The Band got permission from the city to use the name. However, we were not recognized by the city. Official recognition came in 1996. Through the efforts of Prersident Robert Schaller and Director Olwen Bougher, Mayor Tlhomas Goldsmith recognized the Band as the Official Band of the City of Easton.
The Easton Municipal Band is proud to be the last existing concert band in our community. In the era from 1900 to the present, some 14 bands were organized but were unable to sustain operations. Among these were The Tredwell Band, Ingersoll-Rand Band, The Commonwealth Band, The Elks Band, Charlie Porello's Triple City Band and, most notably, The Easton Band. Nationally renowned Thomas Coates, an Easton native son, directed that Band in the Civil War Era and beyond.
Currently the Band is led by Al Shimkus and rehearses at the Twin Rivers Music store on Palmer Street iin Wilson Boro. Be it appearances at the Peace Candle Lighting, July 8th Heritage Day, or concerts at Meuser or Riverside Parks, we are proud to carry on the tradition of community concert bands.
Compiled and researched by Harry Koch March 2017.