Focus on the Students

EPCHS Band History
History      1920's      1930's      1940's      1950's      1960's      1970's      1980's      1990's      2000's      2010's


1920’s and 1930’s

The Decades at a Glance

The band was organized in 1925. It was the beginning of an outstanding and continuing program at EPCHS. In August of 1927, Director Thompson took his young band numbering about 50, to compete at the State Fair. He asked the stores to close and the townspeople to accompany the band to Springfield on a chartered train. Despite a controversial classification system that forced East Peoria to compete against established bands from larger schools, they brought home third place.


The Decades at a Glance

The band was the only instrumental organization at the high school. The bands scope of activities differed from that of the other musical clubs. During the football season the band performed intricate field drills, like, the "four revolving wheels" and the school letters. The band also played at the basketball games and spring concerts. In 1947, the band appeared in the Armistice Day parade, EPCHS Homecoming Parade, District Contest for solos, Peoria Band Contest, different festivals, and class B contests.



The Decade at a Glance

During the 1950’s the band performed at the football and basketball games, as well as at the spring and winter concerts. 1953 was the first year the band was formed into two bands. 1957 was the first year the band formed into three different bands. The three bands were: beginning band (14 members), intermediate band (18 members), and advanced band (35 members).



The Decade at a Glance

The 60’s were a new start for the band, because in 1960 the new band room was built. Along with this new addition, the band still entertained at football and basketball games. The band also participated at District and State Contests, Bradley Festivals, All-State Conventions, and Super State Band Competition. The marching band marched in Canton Friendship Festival, ISU Invitational Marching Band Contest, Veteran’s Day Parades, and Santa Parades. The concert band performed at the spring and winter concerts, as well as other concerts throughout the state. In 1960, 16 members received first place rating at State Solo Contest. In 1963 the band bought new uniforms. In 1964, the band won the Governor’s Trophy at the Illinois State Fair and played for the State School Band Convention in Chicago at the Sherman House. In 1965, the band received first place in the Peoria Veteran’s Day Parade. 1966 the band received first place at the Illinois State Fair, and received superior ratings in the Veterans’ Day Parade. In 1967, the band received straight superiors at contest. In 1968, the band bought new uniforms. In 1969, the band played under the direction of internationally known composer Valclav Nehlybel for the Byerly Sight-Reading Clinic at the Pere Marquette Hotel.



The Decade at a Glance

The band now starts off each year with summer band camp, which takes place in the month of August. During this time the band learned preliminary drills on the field. In addition to summer band camp, the marching band had many performances. The marching band performed at football games, where they played a new show every game. The marching band also played in East Peoria and Peoria Veterans’ Day Parade, Morton Pumpkin Festivals, Canton Friendship Festival Parades, and U of I marching band competitions. The concert band performed at State Contest, clinics at ISU, spring and winter concerts, and EPCHS graduations. In 1970, the band performed at WIU and marched in the half time show with eight other bands. They were in such formations as the words "WESTERN" and "USA". In 1971, the band performed at Zeller Zone and at the U of I Band Day. In 1972, the band received superior ratings at contest, and was the runners-up for the Sweepstakes Trophy. In 1974, the band played at the International Band Festival in Mexico City. In 1978, the band received straight firsts at State Contest. Along with the outstanding ratings, the band went on a spring tour to Putnam and Mendota High Schools. In 1979, the band was ranked 5th in the state at ISU Marching Competition.



The Decade at a Glance

In the 1980’s the marching band marched at the football games, Canton Friendship Festivals, Morton Pumpkin Festivals, ISU Band Competitions, Veterans’ Day Parades, EPCHS Homecoming Parades, Festival of Lights, and Metamora Marching Competitions. The different organizations of the band performed at various contests, spring, winter, Christmas, and fall concerts, Mid-Illini, and the National Honor Society Assembly. In 1980, the marching band was rated as the first place outstanding marching band in the Morton Pumpkin Festival. At EIU, the band was the second runner-up in the competition. In 1987, the band marched in the Festival of Lights Parade. During 1987-1988, the band received first place ratings both years at Mid-Illini. In 1988, the band purchases new uniforms. That same year the band traveled to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia. It was there they performed music on the steps of the state capitol building. In 1989, the percussion received a first in parade division at the Morton Pumpkin Festival.



The Decade at a Glance

The marching members appeared at home football games, various parades, and at other activities. For concert seasons, the band played at State Contest and at the winter and spring concerts. Some band members also participated at All-State. In 1995, the band received superior ratings at State Contest. In 1996, the band took its first Fine Arts Field Experience in Chicago. In 1997, the band received superior ratings at State Contest, the Air Force Band of the Rockies Woodwind Quintet performed, and the band traveled to Cincinnati for the Fine Arts Field Experience. In 1998, the band received superior ratings at State Contest, went to Chicago for the Fine Arts Field Experience. The band also performed with the Dallas Brass in concert and participated in a clinic. In 1999, the band went to Detroit, Michigan for the Fine Arts Field Experience.




EPCHS Band Members

Contact us

Adam Schneblin
Director of Bands | Conductor, Symphonic Band
309.694.8300 | [email protected]
1401 E. Washington Street, East Peoria, IL 61611

More information

Upcoming Events

Click on an event name for more information.

Follow us


Online resources for the EPCHS Band.

Search Our Site