Our Conductors

Read about the leaders of the band!


Russell Kunkle

Russell Kunkle

1948 - 1951

Having joined the band in 1940 as a clarinetist, Kunkle taught instrumental music in the Quakertown Schools. Under his tenure, the band adopted orchestra-type stands. Musical styles ranging from the classics to popular hits were featured in the new format. In 1951 he accepted a job in another school system.

  Howard E. Shive

Howard E. Shive

1925 - 1948

Shive joined the band in 1910 as a clarinetist. Organist of Trinity Lutheran Church in Quakertown, he also taught piano and woodwinds. Under his direction, the woodwinds became a featured section. Although these were hard times, regular rehearsals were held and the band continued to retain its excellent reputation.

Lewis Pfaff

Lewis Pfaff

1913 - 1925

Pfaff had joined the band in 1898. He had been offered a position with the U. S. Marine Corps band, but instead assumed the responsibilities in Quakertown. Due to anti-German feelings during WWI, the name was changed to the Quakertown Band during Pfaff's tenure. Under his leadership, the band played in a Fireman's Parade in Chester when the temperature reached 96 degrees. And on September 8, 1921, the band led the first "Miss America Parade," having won the honor through audition. The reputation and ability of the band grew under his leadership.

  William C. Hillegass

William C. Hillegass

1893 - 1913

Having joined the band in 1881 as a cornetist, he also played many engagements with "outside" organizations as a performer and soloist. He studied with a number of well-known conductors of the day. During his tenure, the band performed at the 1893 World's Columbia Exposition in Chicago. The band also expanded its performance schedule with engagements in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey resorts.

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