The 1960 National Jamboree Bands

Early on the B.S.A. divided the United States into twelve regions - still the scheme in 1960. As you can see from the patch, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia comprised Region 4. In fact there were two separate Jamboree Bands at the 1960 National Jamboree, a Region 4 Band and also a Region 7 Band.

I was a member of the Region 4 Band. The Director of that Band was Darryl Witters of Akron, Ohio. The Assistant Director was Kristan Crane, also from Akron. (Kristan Crane was Director of the 1964 Region 4 Band.) The Region Four Band was formed into three separate Troops. This was done to provide for our meals and the other logistics. My Troop number was 52. The others were Troop 51 and Troop 53.

All the musicians in the Band were Scouts or Explorers. There were no adults except the Directors. The Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, and Senior Patrol Leaders in our Troops were not musicians and were not part of the Band itself.

In 1960 there was no email, no world wide web, no internet. Everyone filled out paper applications for the Jamboree and they all went to the Regional office. In the Region 4 office in Cinncinnati one of the Regional Deputies was assigned to coordinate the recruiting and selection of Band members, and the scheduling of Band activities.

The Band got together a week before the Jamboree at one of the Cleveland Area Council's Scout Camps in northern Ohio. Our time there was spent forming the Band Troops and organizing them, holding try-outs for the various Chairs, and rehearsing the music. Then we were bussed to the railroad station in Cleveland, and off on a two-day rail trip to Colorado Springs. (Traveling across the country to the Jamboree by rail was an adventure by itself.)

The Region 4 Band played performed many times at different places and events, but nowhere except at the Jamboree site. We performed for all three of the Jamboree Shows: the opening, closing, and mid-week. We gave concerts for a National Reception and for a few other meetings. We also played for the Rodeos - the photo on the Jamboree Bands page was taken at one of the Rodeos. We even played an impromtu performance for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Every morning of the Jamboree we were required to be in formation at Regional Headquarters at 8 a.m., in uniform. There we played the National Anthem when the aerial bomb went off and the Flag was raised.

This information was kindly provided by
Frank H. Meenach, who was a trumpeter in the
1960 National Jamboree Region 4 Band.