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, modeled 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.”
Dan Rhymes, a charter member, offered to assist with band organization in 1986 and soon took over assembling the music folders for each concert. After Kirk Raymond had directed the Camarillo Community Band for fourteen years, band musicians picked up the baton and continued the summer tradition, using local directors and even band members as conductors. Dan Rhymes became Band Manager when Kirk Raymond retired. “When we began, we were not thinking 35 years in the future,” Dan Rhymes said. “We were just happy to have a place to play. Now we have created a tradition worth preserving.”
In 2019, the Camarillo Community Band became a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and will now continue through the guidance of band members. Donations from the community will help the band to present concerts and keep audiences entertained. Current members of the Board of Directors are:
- Daniel A. Rhymes, President, Charter Member and Band Manager
- Betty Weyek, Vice President
- Rick Austinson, Treasurer
- Mark Fischer, Secretary
- Andy Binsley, Board member at large
- Doug Hardie, Board member at large
- David Hudnell, Board member at large
- Nadia Talley, Board member at large