Atascadero Community Band
P O Box 134
Atascadero, CA. 93423
Federal Tax ID 77-0280653


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Atascadero Community Band

An Introduction to the History of the Band

          Atascadero Community Band was formed out of a grass roots effort spearheaded by a local musician.  According to scrapbook records, Anne Tognazzini approached Bob Best, then the Department Head of the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Atascadero, about starting a community band. The Atascadero Recreation Department publicized the event in the local media.  Anne Tognazzini, a baritone saxophone player and founding member of the Morro Bay Community Band, eventually connected with Gil Dovalina, also on staff with the Atascadero Recreation Department and a sax player, and a small group of interested musicians met for the first time at the Atascadero High School in September 1985.  It was at this first organizational meeting that the local musicians agreed that the mission and purpose of the Atascadero Community Band would be to perform diverse genres of music, composers, and arrangements in a variety of venues within the community.

          By word of mouth the band membership grew steadily, first performing for the Atascadero Tree Lighting ceremony at the City Administration Building in December 1985.  The Atascadero Historical Society hosted a reception in the museum following the lighting of the trees. 
(Atascadero News, Dec. 11, 1985)

The location of rehearsals quickly changed to the Atascadero Junior High School, and when the first summer came and the Junior High closed, the band rehearsed, then performed at the Atascadero Lake Park Pavilion on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m.  By June 1986, Sam Shliff was acknowledged as the first official Director of Atascadero Community Band. June 28, 1986 also marked the first performance of the Atascadero Community Band at the Atascadero Lake Park on a Saturday afternoon.  The Atascadero News reported about 200 people attended a free concert, part of the 1986 Concerts in the Park Series offered by the Atascadero Recreation Department and the wineries of Paso Robles.  The band played music by John Phillip Sousa, Henry Mancini, and others.

As requests to perform all over the county of San Luis Obispo increased and band membership continued to grow, the city grant funding declined, prompting the founding members of the band to pursue incorporating as a tax-exempt entity.  In 1991, the Atascadero Community Band officially became an independent corporation organized primarily or exclusively for charitable purposes under California Revenue and Taxation Code section 23701(d) and federal tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) as a nonprofit Public Benefit corporation.

About 1994, George Beatie, a retired music professor from Cal Poly, took over the directorship of Atascadero Community Band, leading the band into even more sophisticated directions, including the purchasing of new music and working in collaboration with the Atascadero Kiwanis to expand the bandstand at the Lake Park.

            In the new millennium, Ernie Kapphahn and Charlie Buck shared the conducting honors.  Charlie Buck directed the 70 plus all volunteer member band through four thematic indoor benefit concerts, a Joint Atascadero 7th & 8th grade and Atascadero Community Band performance and the magical Tuesday Evenings in the Park, a 10-11 week summer series of one hour performances (from 7-8 p.m.) followed by rehearsal (from 8-9 p.m.) on Tuesday nights at the Atascadero Lake Park in the city of Atascadero, California until June 2013.  Currently the Band's newly formed Artistic Committee schedules a variety of local Guest Conductors for both our indoor and outdoor performances.

The band has been true to its original mission and purpose of promoting the public appreciation of band music, providing a venue to assist and advance local musicians and benefit other local charitable and educational organizations via band music concerts.  The content of the music is of a diverse and entertaining nature, and the Band is 100% dependent on the generous financial contributions of its loyal and appreciative audience.  Many of the Bandís members have participated for over thirty years.  The Band, as a Public Benefit tax-exempt organization itself, has raised monies for many charitable organizations over the years including EL Camino Homeless Organization, the Womenís Shelter, Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, Toys For Tots, and The Food Bank, just to name a few. 

Historical records coordinated by Kent Cope DDS.

As time permits, our volunteer musicians plan to build a chronology of the band history. Check back periodically on our progress.  See the Archives links below.

Last updated 10 May, 2020 13:53


        Archives & Photo Gallery 2015- 2019







Archives & Photo Gallery 2011- 2014


                                    Archives & Photo Gallery 2001-2010


Archives & Photo Gallery 1993-2000


Archives & Photo Gallery 1985- 1992




Last updated Sunday, 10 May 2020 13:53:58 -0700