The Camarillo Community Band was founded in 1986 by Kirk Raymond to provide a musical performance opportunity for community musicians as well as an enjoyable family activity for area residents. Kirk, a Camarillo resident, modelled the Camarillo Band upon an organization to which he had belonged while growing up in Central California. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from California State University at Long Beach and taught band and choir at Rio Mesa High School for fourteen years.
Linda Rhymes, a charter member of the Camarillo Community Band, remembers Kirk Raymond describing a community band that had played on Thursday evenings in July when he was a boy. “He shared that memory with the other players,” she said, “and they caught his enthusiasm.”
Charter member Mary Ellen Lefler recalls how she and her brothers came to Kirk Raymond’s attention. He was studying for his master’s degree, and interviewed Mary Ellen and her siblings for his thesis.
Ray Linaweaver, another charter member, said that Kirk Raymond invited him to join the band at its inception in 1986. Kirk was “the perfect guy to start the band,” he said, because he had “an excellent music library, a good place to rehearse, and a knack for organization.”