Ohio's Only County Fair Band Since 1938
The Great Geauga County Fair Band
The Great Geauga County Fair Band is Ohio's oldest and only all-volunteer band. Formed in l938, the band performs everyday at the fair in the Vernon Howard Band Pavilion at the south end of the fairgrounds. The Great Geauga County Fair Band also performs during the summer at select venues.
The band director is Greg Hillis, a member of the French horn section for ten years. Greg has music degrees including a Masters in Music from Kent State University and has taught band in public schools. The band is looking forward to a great year and a great fair.
Come hear the band practice Tuesday evenings, weather permitting, 7:30 p.m., at the Vernon Howard Band Pavilion on the fairgrounds. Bring a lawn chair, relax and enjoy the music. The pavilion is named in memory of Vernon Howard, an original band member. His wife, Marion, continues to play in the band.
2013 Summer Schedule - click here >
2013 Band Officers:
President - Amanda Meitz
Vice President - Carol Malz
Band Manager - Shirley Hamilton
Treasurer - Kathy Caldwell
Secretary - Heather Flack
Librarian - Wayne Cowgill
Library Assistant - Carol Dodd
Uniforms - Marilyn Morgret
Band Archivist – Rick Parker
View PDF of 2013 Band Board Officers & Members >
The Band was first organized by Cliff Rossiter after the 1936 Fair, under the direction of Azro Cheney, with high school band members and other musicians from around the county. The forerunner and inspiration was an All-County high school band, under the direction of Raymond Dehnbostle, which played during the 1930s until 1936. The Band became known as the official Geauga County Fair Band and played at the Geauga County Fair in 1938 and has played at every fair since that time.
The Band still boasts two of its original charter members as active members. They are: Barbara Ricca of Newbury - 67 years - Trumpet and Betty Palmer of Aurora - 66 years - Trombone.
The band has had members from seven counties in northeast Ohio: Geauga, Lake, Portage, Ashtabula, Trumbull, Cuyahoga, Lorain, plus several other Ohio counties and states and has played in many area communities. Over the years, more than one hundred members have participated in the band, including many members of area families, and in many ways the Fair Band has become like one large extended family. Today, the Band has about forty to fifty active members.
Band membership is open to anyone 15 years of age and older. Practice begins in April and the Band plays at festivals, parades, homecomings and other events during the summer and continues through the Fair each year. A collection of trophies for its many appearances is housed at the Fairgrounds.
Contact Greg Hillis, Director at 440.474.4106, or the Geauga Music Center at 440.286.8481.
Visit the Junior Fair Band section on the Jr. Fair page.
April 27 & 28: Maple Festival Parade, Chardon 2:00 p.m.
May 26: Blossom Festival Parade, Chagrin Falls 2:00 p.m.
May 27: Hambden Parade, SR 166 & 6 9:00 a.m.
June 26: Orwell Village Square 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
July 4: Chesterland Parade, St. Anselms 11:00 a.m.
Veterans Appreciation, Main Grandstand, Fairgrounds 8:15 pm
July 5: Chardon Square, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
July 17: Claridon Church Strawberry Social 7:00 p.m.
August 10: Cuyahoga County Fair, Berea 3 to 4 pm and 6 to 7 pm
August 11: Mayfield Heights Parade 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 8/29 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 8/30 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 8/31 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 9/1 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Monday 9/2 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
JUNIOR FAIR BAND SCHEDULE
Saturday 8/31 11:30 am
Monday 9/2 12 noon
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