Being a former tenor saxophone enthusiast and player, Duane O’Neil searched the surrounding areas of Greenwood to locate an instrumental ensemble he could join to once again enjoy playing music, while surrounding himself with people who shared his interest, in addition to offering opportunities to perform for the community. Knowing that other communities had bands, and not finding one locally, he decided the community of Greenwood, Indiana needed, and would support this kind of musical organization. The public would then have an opportunity to participate and enjoy coming together to produce or listen to good band music. In addition, the community had two of the finest high school music programs in the state of Indiana, so it seemed logical to feel the support would be there.
O’Neil decided to contact John Sutton, director of bands for the Greenwood Community Schools, to help create what is now known as the Greater Greenwood Community Band. The first of several needs was to identify and obtain someone to fill the position of musical director and conductor. Sutton was aware that living in the community was a former band director, and professor of music at Ball State University, Dr. Joseph Naumcheff. Naumcheff was contacted and agreed to be the director, and help organize a community band for Greenwood. Ads were placed in the local papers, plus word of mouth was key in notifying residents of Greenwood and the surrounding areas of this new organization.
On a Tuesday night in May, at 7:00, twenty-seven people gathered to generate ideas for the newly created Greater Greenwood Community Band. A new element of the Greenwood community was brought into being. The year was 1993.
It is now over twenty years later, and the band still meets in the Greenwood High School band room at 7:00, but the group now numbers over 80 members. The band is currently directed by Tom Dirks, assisted by Ora Pemberton.