About the PECB
In January 1993, Alice Ventura sent a letter to the editor of the Palmyra-Eagle Enterprise suggesting the possibility of forming a community band in the Palmyra-Eagle area and urging interested people to attend a meeting at the Palmyra Town Hall. Four people attended: Clayton Clark, a former band director at PEHS; Glen Rehberg, PE Middle School band director who had volunteered to be the unpaid director; George Ventura, Palmyra Township Supervisor, and Alice Ventura.
This group listed possible instrumentalists, agreed to contact them by phone, and set a date (January 21, 1993) for the first rehearsal. The initial rehearsal had four musicians attending (the two band directors, Alice Ventura and Judy Gapp).
The first concert was on Flag Day, June 14, 1993, at Palmyra Village Park, with the band numbering 12-14 members, coming from Palmyra, Eagle, Dousman, and East Troy and ranging in age from high school to retired seniors. In August of that year the new band played at the dedication of the Irvin L. Young Community Center and later in the fall, presented a concert at Fairhaven in Whitewater. The final concert that year was the first annual Christmas concert, held at the Irvin L. Young Center by a band of 22 members. In comparison, our present band has over 40 members! Several members from the original band still enjoy playing with us today.
The band has had four directors: Glen Rehberg, the first year; Meghan Zimmerman, a student at University of Wisconsin, Whitewater who filled in the second summer, Ed Pierce who directed PECB from August 1994 to December 31, 2023 and Alexander Gonzalez who succeeded Ed on January 1, 2024.
From the beginning, the band has welcomed anyone who has an interest in joining, and no tryouts have ever been required. Funding for the band comes from various sources. Donations are sought on a yearly basis from the Village and Town of Eagle and Palmyra and from many of the local service organizations. Although there are no dues, band members have been encouraged to contribute to the kitty at each rehearsal. Donations have also been made by generous supporters, by concert patrons, and by organizations paying a fee for a requested performance. In 2007, the band was incorporated as a non-profit organization. Summer concert series feature a wide range of music, including marches, show tunes, golden oldies, and themed shows, and are free to the public. In addition to scheduled performances in Eagle and Palmyra, the band has traveled to Burlington, Concord, Delavan, Devils Lake, Dousman, East Troy, Fort Atkinson, Hartland, Helenville, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lake Mills, Mukwonago, Oconomowoc, Old World Wisconsin, Watertown and Whitewater. In recent years, several concerts have been held at the Palmyra United Methodist Church for Fat Tuesday, Easter, Fall and Christmas.