History of the Potomac Concert Band

The Potomac Concert Band has gone through a number of different names since it was originally formed in the late 1800's.  The band was known as the Cumberland Concert Band when first organized in 1885.  In 1917, the band was re-organized and became known as the Cumberland Municipal Band.
Excerpt from Cumberland Times-News, 23 Mar 1956, Page 32.
The group disbanded in the early 1940's due to World War II, and reorganized again in 1953 as the Cumberland Municipal Concert Band by a group of men which included Fred Keyser, William E. Capaldi, and members of the Shafer family, Russ, Art, and Ken.  The director from 1953-1955 was Valgene Routch, the Allegany County Board of Education Supervisor of Music, and was assisted by Frank R. Munson, band director at Beall High School in Frostburg.  Mr. Munson took over as director in 1956, and the band performed a year long schedule.  In 1957 the group became the Potomac Concert Band under the sponsorship of Local 787 of the American Federation of Musicians.  Munson directed the band until 1971, interrupted with brief stints by Dr. Ward Cole and Nunzio Barbera.
In 1972, D. Lynn Zeller, band director at Braddock Middle School in Cumberland, assumed directorship of the band.  Zeller had been a member of the group in the trombone section for 14 years alongside his father Darrell "Gus" Zeller who directed the Frostburg Arion Band.  Lynn conducted the band until 1989.
Dr. Jon Bauman of Frostburg State University became director of the band for the 1990 season.  Mr. Munson then returned to lead the ensemble from 1991 through 2001 when Mr. Zeller assumed the directorship upon Munson's retirement.  Zeller retired from the band in September of 2015.
From 2016 to the current year, the direction of the band has been shared by Dr. Brent Weber and Mr. Jay Moon, with each co-director conducting approximately one half of the summer concert season, alternating from year to year.
The band consists of members whose ages range from the mid teens to the eighties, with several husband-wife couples, parent-child and sibling combinations.  Many occupations are represented ranging from students in high school and college to folks with their doctorates in various fields.  The band includes a number of present and retired band directors and music teachers.
The Potomac Concert Band is well known in the Cumberland-Allegany County area for its summer concerts which include traditional marches, Broadway show tunes, TV theme music, patriotic selections, and popular songs as well as instrumental features.  The band begins rehearsing in late April or early May for its series of approximately a dozen summer performances, three of which are Cumberland traditions:  Memorial Day Sunday and Labor Day Sunday at the Constitution Park amphitheater, and Independence Day at Canal Place.  The band has been affectionately called our area's version of the Boston Pops because of the variety of light, entertaining fare.
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