Overt fifty years ago two young men, Bob Phillips and Sandor Kallai, shared a common love of music and a dream. They created the Indianapolis Symphonic Band. After the first year, Bob Phillips took sole charge of the band and for more than thirty years personally organized and funded the band. Bob's efforts succeeded, and in recent years the Indianapolis Symphonic Band has been praised as one of the finest community bands in the United States by prominent guest conductors from Indiana University, Butler University, and Purdue University schools of music.
The band's history began in the mid 1950s when the two founders, Bob and Sandor, called together a group of musicians and started rehearsing at the All Saints Episcopal Church at 15th Street and Central Avenue. In the ensuing years, the band moved through a variety of rehearsal locations. After All Saints, the band moved to Memorial Presbyterian Church on the near north side of the city. From there the Band rehearsed at Tabernacle Presbyterian and North Methodist churches, then to Glendale Shopping Center and Lawrence Central High School. In 1999 a new home was found at Warren Central High School. In the early years the band performed only in the summer. It was during those seasonal concerts at the then open-air Glendale Shopping Center that the band gained recognition as a serious performing organization.
As interest in the band grew, the Indianapolis Symphonic Band expanded its schedule to include opportunities for musicians to rehearse and perform throughout the year. Yet, remembering where it had its beginnings, the Indianapolis Symphonic Band continued the Glendale tradition with a summer series that has gone uninterrupted for more than 47 years. With the renovation and loss of the indoor concert space at Glendale Mall in 2007, the music now continues in venues nearby and in other parts of the city.
The Indianapolis Symphonic Band’s strength has come from its performers and volunteers. Over the years serious amateur musicians from all walks of life have gravitated to the organization. Today members include talented high school students to retirees, all wanting to expand their musical opportunities.
Until 1970 the band was organized and managed by Bob Phillips. In that year the Indianapolis Symphonic Band was incorporated with a Board of Directors to oversee the operations. With age and health effecting Bob's ability to carry out all the necessary responsibilities for a successful organization, he stepped down. But as he did so, Bob donated his massive music library and large collection of instruments to the corporation, charging it to carry on the great musical tradition that he had personally started over 50 years ago. The library and instruments are made available to area bands and musicians at no charge
The Indianapolis Symphonic Band continues through Bob Phillip's legacy and the participation of many people in Central Indiana.
MUSIC LENDING LIBRARY The Indianapolis Symphonic Band is fortunate to own one of the largest libraries of wind band, small ensemble and jazz music and is pleased to lend scores to other community bands as needed.
If you would like borrow music, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Barton Rogers Big Band - With its beginnings in the mid - 1940's, Bob Phillips assembled a group of students who were interested in learning to play jazz. Bob named the band after his professional stage name, "Barton Rogers". As the students became proficient, the group began to play for area dances. Today the Barton Rogers Band includes musicians of all ages who love to perform big band jazz.