by Michael Shea

This Website is in Honor of my long-time friend Mr. Curtiss Allen, Sr. (1939-2016) -- The Founder of the Redlands Fourth-of-July Band, and Conductor and Music Director from 1981 to 2015.

"Into my heart, an air that kills, from yon far country blows; What are those blue remembered hills, what spires, what farms are those. It is the Land of Lost Content, I see it shining plain, the Happy Highways where I went, and can not come again"A.E.Housman

Long Live Our Music Man

The Redlands Fourth-Of-July Band

Founded 1981

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Welcome To Our "Online Scrapbook"

The Redlands 4th- of-July Band is a Volunteer Community Band based in Redlands, California.

****A Brief History of the Band ****

The Redlands Fourth-of-July Band was founded in 1981 by Mr. Curtiss B. Allen for the purpose of providing music for the 4th-of-July celebrations in Redlands, California. Band personnel that first year were volunteer instrumentalists from the community, ranging from middle-school age through senior citizen. Rehearsals began in May of that year and the first concerts were presented in Sylvan Park on July 4th, 1981. That first year the musical selections were primarily marches including a rousing rendition of the Stars and Stripes Forever. The music was so favorably received by the large and enthusiastic crowd at the park that it was decided to repeat the concerts the next year. Beginning in 1982 the band initiated a concert of incidental music during the pre-fireworks show at the University of Redlands Ted Runner Stadium.


That was the beginning of The Redlands Fourth-of-July Band as it exists today. Each year since 1981 the band has continued to grow in numbers, expand its musical repertoire and improve its level of individual musicianship. The Sylvan Park and University of Redlands stadium concerts on the 4th of July have become a Redlands tradition. In 1987 the band was provided with a permanent home in Sylvan Park -- A bandstand funded by the local Optimists Club.

For the past thirty-eight years the band has also provided music for a variety of other community events. These have included Pre-Fourth-of-July concerts in the Santa Fe Depot Colonnade, the Redlands Bowl, Veteran's Day observances, World Communion Sunday services, the Redlands Quilt Show and the Smiley Library rededication. The band has grown in numbers to an average of 60 to 80 musicians by the 4th-of-July. It is composed entirely of volunteers and no fees have ever been charged for membership. It is a Community Band in the truest sense.

Proverbs 16:3

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed."

The Band is sponsored by the Redlands Fourth of July Committee and First Baptist Church of Redlands. Our Rehearsals begin in March/April of the year and are held in the basement of the Church's Fellowship Hall on Sundays from 3pm to 4:30pm. The Church provides us with much needed storage space for our Equipment and Percussion Instruments..

Contact Us

Information about the Band can be obtained by sending an email to the given address. Emails are welcomed and we will try to be prompt in responding. Founding Member Michael Shea is the WebMaster. CONTACT US

☀ Mr.Michael Shea:  ☀

2019 Events

Keep checking back with us for our 2019 schedule. Rehearsals in preparation for the 4th-of-July begin in March and continue each Sunday thereafter through the 4th of July except for Easter and Mother's Day. As we approach the 4th of July at least one extra rehearsal is usually held. Anticipated events and performances for 2019 are as follows.

  • March 31st -- Start of Rehearsals!
  • June 4th -- Plymouth Village Strawberry Festival - A one hour Concert (our Shake-Down Concert) for those residents of the Village who would find it difficult or impossible to attend the Festivities at Sylvan Park on the 4th.
  • JULY 4th -- Sylvan Park Bandstand- 11:30 to Noon: Flag-Raising Ceremony conducted by the Boy Scouts, and singing of the National Anthem. This is followed by 45 minute Concerts at Noon to 12:45 and 1:15 to 2pm. Later that evening a Concert is provided at the Univ. of Redlands, Ted Runner Stadium where we provide Incidental Music for the Flag Ceremony, singing of the National Anthem and a 30 minute Concert prior to the Fireworks Show at 9pm.


Current Personnel: Section Leaders Bolded

Player Information

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We want you to practice your instrument EVERY day and to be at EVERY rehearsal.

Member's Gallery

2005 news

Submitted By Curtiss Allen Sr.

The Redland's Band


The Picture is from the Images of America Series -- Early Redlands by Ann Cordy Deegan and Maria Y. Carrillo, 2013.


The Redlands Band, shown here in 1897, was organized in July, 1887, by R.J.Waters (top row, 3rd from left). Martin F. Pierce (top row, center) arrived in July of 1889 and was soon chosen leader. At the Redondo Beach band contest in Aug, 1895 the band won first prize.

Sousa's Band


"The Sousa Band traveled around the world in 1910-1911. The Band is shown here in Johannesburg, South Africa, with violinist Nicoline Zedeler and Virginia Root"-- from John Philip Sousa, American Phenomenon,1973,by Paul E. Bierley, p.74.


John Philip Sousa - Our Inspiration and Hero


Sousa composed now little known Original Lyrics for "The Stars and Stripes Forever"...... This is the Chorus:

"Hurrah for the flag of the free! May it wave as our standard forever, The gem of the land and the sea, The banner of the right. Let despots remember the day When our fathers with mighty endeavor Proclaimed as they marched to the fray That by their might and by their right It waves forever."

Sousa held a very low opinion of the emerging and upstart recording industry. Using an epithet coined by Mark Twain, he derided recordings as "canned music", a reference to the early wax cylinder records that came in can-like cylindrical cardboard boxes. In a submission to a congressional hearing in 1906, he argued:

"These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape."

Sousa's antipathy to recording was such that he almost never conducted his band when it was being recorded. Nevertheless, Sousa's band made numerous recordings, the earliest being issued on cylinders by several companies, followed by many recordings on discs by the Berliner Gramophone Company and its successor, the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor).

The Berliner recordings were conducted by Henry Higgins (one of Sousa's cornet soloists) and Arthur Pryor (Sousa's trombone soloist and assistant conductor), with Sousa quoted as saying, "I have never been in the gramophone company's office in my life." A handful of the Victor recordings were actually conducted by Sousa, but most were conducted by Pryor, Herbert L. Clarke, Edwin H. Clarke, or by four of Victor's most prolific house musicians: Walter B. Rogers (who had also been a cornet soloist with Sousa), Rosario Bourdon, Josef Pasternack, and Nathaniel Shilkret.

[The Postal Cover was produced in a 2-stamp and a 3-stamp version. The 3-stamp version was reserved for band members and included the 32-cent Stars and Stripes Forever stamp.]
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The Fourth of July


Pencil Sketch by Michael Shea -- 1987


Earliest Known Picture of the Band -- Sylvan Park -- On Risers against backwall of the Chapel Street Restrooms, Saturday, July 4th, 1981

People I recognize from that 1st Year: Michael, Steve and Jennifer Shea, Alan Pierpoint, Lynn Brandon, Ann Crane, Bruce Hedland, Kurt Korphmacher, Nick Miller, Allyse Crane, Sally Beck, Kristi Elliot, Lorna Hoffs, Phebe Baty, Steuart Goodwin, Judy Lang, and Jeff Saterwhite.


Sylvan Park Bandstand, July 4th, 1987


Band Poster by Michael Shea, Water Damaged and Permanently Retired


The above rope-tension snare drum was designed and crafted by Mr. Stephen Spiller and is on loan to the Band for exclusive use by Michael Shea - Percussion Section Leader.

Uploaded to YouTube on Jul 27, 2010 by Steuart Goodwin -- "Several years ago I built a steam whistle sound effect using five organ pipes and a hand-operated bellows. The whistle is featured in this selection" "Floatin' Down to Cotton Town".