1912 – Community Bands and Bandstands

By: Kathy Koehler

The photo above is of the first members of the Niwot Military Band. Small town bands were often called “military” bands because musical equipment consisted of drums and brass instruments. Members were all volunteers who had an instrument and could play music. Band members were comprised of only boys and men

Niwot’s first band leader was John Hill, a farmer who lived north of town. He is in the middle row, far right with a cornet on his lap.

The original bandstand was built in 1912 and stood at the northwest corner of the intersection of Second Avenue and Murray Street.


Current Bandstand And Two Community Volunteer Bands

The current bandstand was built in 2005 in the image of the original bandstand of 1912. It is in Niwot’s Whistle Stop Park in the 100 block of Murray Street. It hosts band concerts, and is the stage for Thursday evening summer concerts June through August.


Niwot’s Semi Marching Free Grange Band is composed of all volunteers. It states that they are, “Always Under Construction,” because they are open to any new members who want to join. This band has a director and the volunteer musicians range in age from teenagers to retirees. They perform community concerts for special events and are in local parades.


The newer volunteer band who has joined in parades and events is the Left Hand Bagpipers Band. Both the Niwot Semi Marching Free Grange Band and the Left Hand Bagpipers Band performed in the 4th of July parade and celebration at the 10-year anniversary of the new bandstand in 2015.