For the last quarter of a century, the Greater Greenwood Community Band has brought live music to people within and far beyond city limits.
Now they need the public’s help to find a new storage space to house their music library, a workspace and decorations.
The Greater Greenwood Community Band, or GGCB, began as a grassroots, no audition adult band in 1993. Since then, the band has grown from its humble beginnings into one of the better community bands in Indiana, said Steve Roskowski, president of the band’s board of directors.
“There’s some that are audition groups that definitely are better,” Roskowski said. “But as far as just a ‘no audition’ community band, we’ve definitely become one of the stronger community bands in Indiana.”
Throughout the year, the band does indoor concerts and outdoor concerts at various locations across Central Indiana, though primarily in Greenwood. They’ve performed as part of Greenwood Lighted Trail around Christmas and host an annual community band festival every August.
“Our big thing is providing live art, live music for the community,” he said.
For the last several years, the band has used space inside a professional building at Community Hospital South to house their music library, decorations, a workspace and a small amount of musical equipment.
But this building will soon be demolished as part of an upcoming parking expansion this summer, Roskowski said.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to house the library there for so long,” he said.
Around this time last year, board members had begun looking for a new space. The expansion project was delayed, however, so they were able to get another year at the current space, he said.
“They were like, ‘Yeah, it might happen,’ but then they put off all their renovations,” Roskowski said.
This time around, the project is moving forward as planned. Now the band is now seeking a space to house their library, workspace and other storage needs before it begins.
“They’ve given us a really good heads up that, come summer, those buildings are slated for demolition,” Roskowski said. “That’s our time frame, but ideally we’d like to be out of there far sooner just so it isn’t a panic.”
A majority of GGCB’s current storage space is filled by the band’s extensive music library. There are around 40 file cabinets filled with music sheets, he said.
But it’s not just music that is stored in the space. The band also stores some equipment, extra polo shirts and decorations for their Halloween and Christmas concerts there.
It also houses a small workspace for GGCB’s two volunteer librarians. The librarians are responsible for making copies of music sheets, and putting together music folders for the band’s more than 80 members, Roskowski said.
“It’s kind of their home away from home where they can have the music spread out and get it all organized and into the folders for everyone,” he said.
For their future space, the band plans on trying to consolidate some of the library’s materials to make more room. Even with that, they still need about 1,000 square feet of space for the library, equipment, decorations, workspace and copy machine, Roskowski said.
The band will also need 24/7 access to the space, but they are willing to work with people on this.
“They’re both retired ladies, but them being able to go and do the work they need to do when it’s convenient for them helps,” Roskowski said. “But if that’s something where we need to change our working model, we’re definitely up to that too.”
City officials are also aware of the need and are assisting with the search. Roskowski recently met with Mayor Mark Myers about the issue, and city officials are seeing what they can do to help the band, he said.
GGCB could rent a space, however, there are complications due to the band’s contracts with the city.
The band, which is a nonprofit, receives funding from the mayor’s office and the city council. As part of their contract with the city, they aren’t allowed to charge admission. This means if they have to rent a space, they would run out of money quickly, Roskowski said.
Members of the band do pay dues, but those only cover copying costs. Everything else the band does is for free, he said.
“At that point, we cease to exist,” Roskowski said. “We don’t want to sound like beggars, but the reality of it is, it puts us in a hard spot.”
Myers is still pursuing possible angles to help the band, including finding potential property owners for the band to talk to. Roskowski is still cautious though.
“(Myers) still sounds optimistic, but until we have somebody saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got a spot for you,’ I don’t want to say I’m panicked, but summer is going be here before we know it and then we will be panicked,” Roskowski said.
Roskowski hopes members of the community will see the benefit of having their neighbors play in a community band. He also hopes someone can help them out.
“I’m just hoping there’s a way that somebody from within Greenwood to help us out,” he said.
Those looking to help the band find a space, or those with available space, can contact the band by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or going online to greenwoodband.org/contact-us/.