York County community bands play on

The Zion View Band organized in 1910 and played at countless community events until the 1980s. In 1927, they moved into a new band hall, still standing today. For years, it has been home of the York County Racing Club. In fact, the original band hall is standing as well. It’s a private residence at corner of Copenhaffer and Butter Roads in Conewago Township. Here, the band is seen in 1931. (Courtesy, Norma Bear Gates)

An e-mailer notifed York Daily Record/Sunday News stories on community bands – particularly Emigsville’s and Brodbecks’ groups.
The former York countian is now living in the West and wanted to know more about such bands.
The community bands are a piece of York County’s past, popular at community events. Their band halls often formed a community gathering place and were used for more than just musical performances.
In the Conewago Township community of Zion View, for example, the community held a business show in the band hall from 1929 to 1962. That hall also played host to dances, card parties, bingo parties and minstrel shows.
In ” … the way it was,” Norma Bear Gates’ writes that most every small town had a band in the early part of the 20th century.
“Wherever the band played, there most Zion Viewers could be found,” she wrote… .

The band, well, disbanded in the 1980s.
A contributing reason for their demise?
High school bands were becoming more popular, filling the need for community performances as parades and holiday concerts.
Still, as the e-mailer points out, some such bands still play on.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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