The Cary Town Band  History

The band circa 1989

The Cary Town Band (Cary , NC) is reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century bands led by Sousa, Goldman, and others who popularized band concerts all over America. Presenting concerts recreating that bygone era, the band plays marches from many nations, circus music, waltzes, rags, polkas, famous overtures, and other “pops” classical music of the 1860’s to 1920’s with an occasional nod to more modern fare.

The band was formed in 1987 by Dr. James R. Hammerle, who served as its director for the next 21 years. Starting from the original sixteen members, the group has expanded to over forty musicians, almost all of whom are professionals in some occupation other than music in Wake and surrounding counties. Dr. Hammerle’s vision was to provide for the Cary community an Ole Timey, 19th Century, play in the gazebo town band, complete with shiny brass button uniforms, performing the music seldom heard since that almost forgotten era – to recreate the “town band experience” for local citizens and fill the air with the music that helps make a town a community. In March 2009, in appreciation of his efforts and success, Dr. Hammerle was proclaimed "Outstanding Volunteer of the Year" by the Town of Cary. He has since “retired” and occasionally appears in the percussion section. Director Stuart Holoman, assuming leadership of the band when Dr. Hammerle retired, is dedicated to preserving the vision and the cultural role the band has played in the community.

From the beginning, the band has been dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the Town of Cary and surrounding communities by providing classic music for many town occasions and functions. These include Lazy Daze, the annual Christmas Tree lighting, building or park dedications, and an annual series of concerts at various area venues such as Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park, Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Regency Park, the Senior Center in Bond Park, and others. 

Photo: R. Kapnick  
  Sertoma Amphitheatre July 03, 2007


Photo: K. Brickman
  Sertoma Amphitheatre July 03, 2009


Sertoma Amphitheatre July 03, 2011
Photo: K. Brickman


Performances by the Cary Town Band

(Also see a list of recent concerts, included works, ad copy, and program notes.)

In addition to 8-9 public concerts each year by the band, over the past 29 years the band has performed at the following venues:

  • Annual Cary Events:

    • performed at the first Cary Town Christmas Tree Lighting and for 15 more years

    • for 29 years, presented annual July 3rd Independence Eve patriotic concerts at the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park and its predecessors and in recent years at the Cary Arts Center.

    • for more than 22 years, performed pre-NC Symphony concerts on July 4th at Koka Booth Amphitheatre and its predecessors in Regency Park

    • Led the July 4th "Parade in the Park" parade in Bond Park for 5 years.

    • performed 25 years for the Lazy Daze festival.

    • performed at the first five Spring Daze festivals and many others since then.

    • performed at Cary Veterans Luncheon for 9 years

    • performed at the Kraft Family YMCA Veteran's Day Celebration for 3 years.

  • Seasonal Concerts:

    • Christmas concerts at Glenaire Continuing Care Retirement Community

    • caroling with the Cary YMCA

    • the Downtown Cary Christmas event

    • caroling at Waverly Place (temperature 17 degrees)

    • two Oktoberfests with the Sister Cities Commission at MacGregor Village

    • 8 Cary Band Day parades

    • Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day parade

  • Out-of-Area Concerts:

    • played out-of-town concerts in

      • Lumberton

      • Farmville

      • Richmond, VA

      • Memorial Day concert in Sanford

  • Musical Events:

    • nine annual Hometown Band Festivals with community bands from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill at the old Bandstand

    • a band fest in Carrboro

    • Triangle Community Band Festival in Durham Central Park with community bands from Raleigh, Durham, Holly Springs, and Chapel Hill

    • stage band for opera “La Boheme” at Meredith College

    • pre-show and intermission performances with Roberts Bros. Circus

    • opening act for “Mr. Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band”

    • pre-NC Symphony Labor Day concert at Meredith College

  • Grand Openings:

    • Veterans Freedom Park Dedication

    • Cary Amtrack Station Dedication

    • Cary Arts Center Dedication

    • Hemlock Bluffs Visitors Center

    • USA Baseball facility

    • Ritter Park

    • Western Wake Library

    • Page-Walker Center

    • New Cary Post Office

    • Cary Railroad Station

    • Cary Farmer’s Market

    • Opening of Veteran’s Section, Western Wake Memorial Gardens

  • Civic Events:

    • National Train Day - Cary - 2012 - 2015

    • Memorial Day Remembrance - Cary - 2015-2016

    • Hemlock Bluffs Entrance Gates Dedication

    • Triangle Flight of Honor for WWII veterans

    • Valor Games Southeast, Closing Ceremonies 2013

    • Groundbreaking for expanded Cary Train Depot

    • Olympic Conference at Raleigh Civic Center

    • PTA event at Oak Grove Elementary School - Ollie Fest 2010

    • PTA event at Cary Elementary School

    • Cary Road Race

    • MS Walk and Olympic Torch run in Cary

    • EDM4USTroops Golf Tournament Opening Ceremony at Prestonwood Country Club

    • Chamber of Commerce Meetings

    • more than six times for the Chamber get-togethers at Ashworth Village

    • welcome home event for Desert Storm troops at Cary HS stadium

    • “welcome home” event at RDU for hospitalized student

  • Other Events:

    • Jordan Oaks Retirement Community 10th Anniversary Celebration
    • July 4th at the State Capitol

    • entertainment for Southern Women’s Show at Fairgrounds

    • opening of Nikos Tavern/Columns restaurant at MacGregor Village

    • XYZ Club functions

    • several Rotary BBQ’s

    • five picnics at Historic Mordecai

    • at Wake Co. Farm Park

    • NCSU football tailgate party—and played in the stands

    • several private birthdays and pool party

    • statewide political rally at Fairgrounds