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 Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, IA was planning to open their 2019 indoor season on Sunday, February 17th.   Severe winter weather forced the cancellation of that program.   You may need to decide for yourself to stay home if weather makes driving unsafe.   Fine music is very special, but do not take a chance with your safety.  

NEXT CONCERT MARCH 17   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.   More information will be coming.  Here is a description of the cancelled concert:

     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.

The 1919 Grand Army of the Republic Band (G.A.R.) from Canton, Ohio 
Karl King is seen with a moustache in the back row slightly left of center.

King had traveled for four years, from 1910 through 1913, with four different circuses and had already reached the peak of his playing career as the Euphonium player with the Barnum and Bailey Circus Band, the top job of that era.   The 1914 season found Mr. King being named bandleader on the Sells-Floto/Buffalo Bill Combined Shows, a position he would hold through the 1915 and 1916 seasons as well.   In 1917, John Ringling hired King to lead the most famous circus band of that era, the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and he was rehired for the 1918 season. 

     This February 17th 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 1919, when Karl King was a 28-year old young man. 

Selections to be performed from 1919 include two of Karl King’s marches, “Ohio Division”, and “Fame and Fortune”, which was dedicated to King’s “friend and benefactor, C.L. Barnhouse” of Oskaloosa IA.  Karl King composed more than marches, however.  Also included from 1919 on this tribute concert will be his beautiful aerial waltz, “Enchanted Night”, the two-step “Kentucky Sunrise”, his exciting circus galop “Majestic”, and a ragtime selection “Broadway One-Step”.  This last selection features the popular area Brass Quintet Jive For Five with the band accompanying. 

     In addition, one of the first marches Karl King had published in 1909 when he was just 18 years old, “Canton Aero Club”, will open the concert.   An overture by Franz von Suppe, “Poet and Peasant”, as arranged for band by another Ohio native and friend of King, will be presented.   Another of King’s close friends, Paul Yoder, composed “Rush Street Tarantella”, which King often performed with the band here in Fort Dodge. 

A special feature on this concert will be the performance by a clarinet duet with the band accompanying of “The Two Little Bulfinches”, arranged by Conductor Jimmerson.   This selection will highlight the talents of Christina Tait from Carroll and Nikole Nuttall from Newell. 

The concert will end with the “March of Time”, by J.J. Richards, which includes Karl King’s masterpiece and most famous composition, “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite March”.   This selection is “a composite of six World Famous Marches from the C.L. Barnhouse catalog, commemorating our Fiftieth Anniversary, 1886-1936”.   Closing this concert will be our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. 

     In case of inclement weather, the concert may be cancelled.   The next performance by the Karl L. King Municipal Band will be the annual Irish Concert on Sunday, March 17th in Decker Auditorium. 

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

Click for more scholarship auditioners

The 2018 Karl King Scholarship
winner was
Nic Englin of Rockwell City,
who performed Beautiful Colorado on his Euphonium.

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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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