The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa

The Karl King Band is the municipal band for Fort Dodge, Iowa.  This ensemble has historically provided a summer concert series in the Karl King Bandshell in beautiful Oleson Park and an indoor concert series held in the auditorium of Iowa Central Community College.   These concerts are free to all, and are provided as a service by the City of Fort Dodge. Jerrold P. Jimmerson is the Director of the King Band, and Dr. David Klee serves as the band's Assistant Conductor.   Learn more about the Band and visit the online archive of photos related to the history of the Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

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The final winter season concert was April 7. View photos from that concert.

Photos & sounds from the 2019 Summer Concert Season.
the June 9 concert , June 16 concert, June 30 concertJuly 14 concert, and the July 21 concert.



       The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, IA will open their 2020 indoor season on Sunday, February 23rd, with a concert beginning at 3:30 pm at the Fort Dodge Middle School Auditorium.  Concert-goers should note the change of location for this particular event.   There is no admission charge, with these concerts being provided by the City of Fort Dodge.   Jerrold P. Jimmerson is the conductor of the Karl King Band, with Dr. David Klee serving as assistant conductor, and Paul Bloomquist as the announcer.  

     Karl King was born on February 21, 1891 in Paintersville, Ohio.   After his childhood in Canton, Ohio, he left at the age of 19 to travel for 9 years with several different circuses, conducted several of their bands, and reached the pinnacle of success as conductor of the world-famous Barnum and Bailey Circus Band during the 1917 and 1918 seasons.   He returned to Canton after his trouping days were done in November of 1918 to settle down with his wife, Ruth, and direct the local Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Band there.   In addition, the Kings’ only son, Karl Jr., was born in November of 1919.   

     This February 23rd concert will be the Band’s annual tribute to former Conductor Karl L. King in honor of his birthday.   Conductor Jimmerson has drawn music for this concert from several of the compositions published 100 years ago in 1920, when Karl King was a 29-year old young man in his second year as Conductor of the G.A.R. Band in Canton.  

Selections to be performed include two of Karl King’s marches, “Tuscawaras”, published in 1920, and one of his earliest marches, “Greater Canton”, published in 1909 when he was just 18 years old.   Karl King composed more than marches, however.   Also included from 1920 on this tribute concert will be his beautiful serenade, “An Autumn Romance”, and the Oriental fox trot, “Abdallah”.   His exciting 1912 circus galop “Homestretch”, is also included on the program.  

Special guest soloist will be Dan Cassady, a regular member of the Karl L. King Municipal Band and a frequent trombone soloist.   Mr. Cassady will perform Arthur Pryor’s classic solo, “Thoughts of Love”.  Cassady is a retired music educator who currently lives at Twin Lakes.   Previously he taught music and directed band programs at Fort Dodge Senior High School, Iowa Central Community College, and St. Edmond High School, and currently performs as trombonist with Jive for Five.

Classical selections on this one-hour concert include Ludwig von Beethoven’s overture, “Egmont”, as a tribute to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, along with “Pilgrim’s Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s opera, ‘Tannhauser’.   In addition, a medley of popular songs from composer Jerome Kern, including his 1920 hit, “Look for the Silver Lining”, is on the program. 

The concert will conclude with “Diamond Jubilee”.   A portion of King’s most famous composition, “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite March”, is included in this closing selection.   “Diamond Jubilee” is a medley of portions of seven best-selling King marches arranged to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the C.L. Barnhouse Company in Oskaloosa, IA., a major supplier of King’s music throughout the world.

     The March 15th concert will be the Band’s annual Irish Concert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.   This concert dates back to the early days of the Band under Mr. King’s direction.   A wide variety of Irish music is being planned, and will include an audience sing-along and everyone’s favorite Irish tune, “McNamara’s Band”. 

      The April 19th concert has become two-fold in nature in recent years.  It is the Band’s annual Scholarship Concert, where talented high school seniors and college freshmen audition for three scholarships that the Band annually administers.  In addition, this concert will tie into the annual cultural emphasis for Iowa Central Community College.  This year’s featured country is Spain, and several musical selections are being planned to showcase this region. 

The Municipal Band will then perform at the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in Fort Dodge on Monday, May 25th, before beginning a series of 8 summer concerts every Sunday evening during June through July at the historic Karl L. King Band Shell in Oleson Park. 

2018 Summer Season photos
 June 10 performance  - June 17 performance  -  June 24 performance  -  July 15 performance  - 2018 Season Finale


     The nationally-known Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge Ia, was invited to join the 100th anniversary celebration of the Clay County Fair in Spencer on September 17 last year.  Karl L. King and the Fort Dodge Municipal Band were regular fixtures at that fair each year, beginning in 1922 and continuing to the close of the 1959 season.  This photo shows Karl King and his band in front of their tent camp at the 1928 Clay County Fair.

(You may click image to see the page giving identities of those pictured.)
Karl King is in the center of the photo, between the two sousaphone players.

The King Band last appeared at the Fair in Spencer for the 75th anniversary in 1992.

The Karl King Band performed in the Grandstand that evening, beginning with a pre-concert at 6:30 pm before the main celebration starts at 7:00 pm.  Check the King Band Facebook page for more.

The first concert of the 2017 Winter season of the
Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge was held Sunday afternoon, February 19.

The last Sunday Program of the 2017 Summer season was held July 30.

Click to see the King Band's appearance at the 2015 IBA State Conference.

Jimmerson took Dr. Golemo's place on week in 2015, conducting the Ames Municipal Band.

Open House celebrated 150 years held in the Fort Dodge Public Library Meeting Room.

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     Several years ago, CIRCUS POSTERS were made into U.S. postage stamps.


The King Band performed for the 2017 Preserve Iowa Summit.   Learn more ...

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The Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge is seen during a practice session
before taking the stage.
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The 2014, 2015 and 2016 Winter and Summer Concert Series
May be viewed in our Concert Archive

View a video of the band performing Karl King's march, Bon Voyage. (60 MB mpg format)

View photos of the bandshell during the renovation process.

View concert photos from previous seasons
Concert Archive

Dr. Mike Golemo, several times guest conductor at the summer concerts

Fort Dodge's newest monument was dedicated in a ceremony held October 22, 2006.  The life-size monument to famed band composer and director, Karl L. King, was placed in the Karl L. King Park in downtown Fort Dodge and was first seen by the public following an open house of the Karl King Archives. 

The dedication ceremony included a program by the Karl L. King Municipal Band and the introduction of special guests and an address by former Fort Dodge mayor, Judge Albert Habhab.  - program photos  -  2006 Open House

Statue proposed - Statue in progress - Statue mounting process - Dedication speakers - Dedication program

Deann Haden-Luke's original musical that uses
Karl King music has been published!

View Cardiff information on the Heuer Publishing website.

Cardiff AnnouncementCardiff 2006 Premiere

What's New with the Band?

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The Karl King Band was the featured performing ensemble for the 2006 Summer Meet of Windjammers, Unlimited.   - photos -

2016 Scholarship Concert  2017 Scholarship Concert   2019 Scholarship Concert

Click for more scholarship auditioners

The 2019 Karl King Scholarship winner was Carly Drenth from Alta,
who performed Carl Maria von Weber's 
Concertino for Clarinet.

Click image for more 2019 scholarship information.

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The Karl King Band performed in the Iowa State
Capitol to promote a postage stamp in his honor.

Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen 
interviewed Oley about Karl King.
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(click to enlarge)

Dr. Timothy Rhea, director of bands at Texas A & M University
in College Station, was the special guest conductor for the 2012 June 24 concert.

Walking Frog excerpt 1 - Walking Frog excerpt 2

This page is available as

the Karl King Page Concert Season Archive Online Photo Archive

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