The 1951 Municipal Band rehearsed on the dance floor of the VFW club room. The ceiling above the band included a large curved dome which reflected the sound below it in strange directions. You could sometimes hear a player across the room better than someone sitting next to you. The Sunday afternoon rehearsals in the non air-conditioned room were often hot and uncomfortable. Fortunately, the bar opened during rehearsal break; and band members could cool down with a bottle of beer. The band also used the VFW building for equipment storage.
In the late 1950s, band rehearsals were moved to the CSPS building’s dance hall. This gave the band a larger rehearsal area, and improved acoustics. Again, there was no air-conditioning, only large circulating fans in the ceiling. The fans often made more noise than the sounds produced by some of the softer woodwinds. The band’s equipment had to be moved up a combination of stairs almost two stories high. The heat of the rehearsal room was again solved when band members would head to the bar at break for a cool one.
In the 1970s, rehearsals were moved to Kirkwood Community College’s music building. This was a small Quonset hut structure, just large enough to squeeze the Municipal Band into. The building had one window air conditioner at one end, but it made too much noise to be run during rehearsals. The musicians, having been packed in like sardines, headed outside at break to cool off in the hot summer night. At Kirkwood there was no bar available for a cool one!
When Kirkwood built Iowa Hall and its spacious, air conditioned band room, the band’s rehearsal problems were solved. Kirkwood’s band room was heaven compared to the other rehearsal buildings. In recent years, the Band has transitioned from the Jefferson High School Band Room to the Washington High School Band Room, which is part of a recent addition made to the Cedar Rapids school.