© 2019 by The Official Band of the City of Los Angeles - The LAPD Concert Band - L.A.'s Own www.lasown.com  |  Contact Us

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
 

THE LOS ANGELES POLICE CONCERT BAND HISTORY

IN THE BEGINNING...

The LAPD Concert Band was formed in 1914 as the official band of the Los Angeles Police Department and the City of Los Angeles. Originally made up entirely of sworn officers, it played regularly for police recruit graduations, and a wide number of police and civic functions.

After WWII, soon-to-become LAPD officer, Gene Roddenberry, had worked as a commercial pilot. Roddenberry, who is best remembered for creating the original Star Trek television series, had been raised in Los Angeles, where his father had been an LAPD officer.  Since a boy, he had also known William H. Parker, who would become Chief of Police.

 

Roddenberry had always been a visionary...
“SOME PEOPLE HAVE GOOD PITCH WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC. I HAVE GOOD PITCH WHEN IT COMES TO THE FUTURE.”
Roddenberry decided his own future should be as a television writer and that the ideal training ground for that career would be the Los Angeles Police Department.

 

The future creator of Star Trek had been particularly impressed with Parker’s openness to new ideas as well as his intellectual curiosity. Years later, these characteristics were to inspire one of his most famous characters, Spock, the half Vulcan, half human, ultra-rational Science Officer of the fictional Starship Enterprise.

 

William Parker died just days before Star Trek premiered, on Sept. 8, 1966. The Watts Riots a year earlier had made him something of a household name. And yet no one — perhaps not even Leonard Nimoy, the actor chosen to portray Spock — knew that the character's dual nature was Gene Roddenberry’s tribute to the late chief.

WHERE NO BAND HAD GONE BEFORE...
THE 1978
TAX REVOLT...
“I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M
NOT GOING
TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

Howard Jarvis, a pugnacious businessman was the principal architect of the infamous Proposition 13, formally called the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation. Jarvis a pillar of bombast became the public face of the referendum — a"prophet of fiscal rectitude" to his admirers. 

He was unfazed by severe spending reductions that the proposition forced upon many communities and institutions. “The most important thing in this country is not the school system, nor the police department, nor the fire department,” he said. “The right to preserve, the right to have property in this country, the right to have a home in this country — that’s important.”

 

He drew inspiration from another Howard: Beale, the mad newscaster in the 1976 film “Network.”  The fictional Beale was immortalized by his signature line: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

 

In 1978, driven by the small of stature, yet bigger-than-life Jarvis, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13, which lowered property taxes for millions of the state’s homeowners. 

 

However, its passage reduced tax funding to the LAPD, which meant that active police officers were required to dedicate their duty hours exclusively to enforcement, not as musicians.  As a result, the band was dissolved.   

AN ALL-VOLUNTEER BAND IS FORMED...

Shortly after the band dissolved, a group of civic leaders headed by theater owner, Bob Ahmanson, and Gene Roddenberry, formed an all-volunteer band under the direction of John Campbell. Throughout the 1980s the band expanded into the 75-member ensemble it is today. Many of its members are well-known professional artists who play in local symphonies, big bands, and as studio musicians. We also feature a cadre of experienced amateur musicians, many of whom are retired from professions in the law, medicine, and education.

Now under the direction of Maestro Richard Allen, the band is poised to reach out to the communities within the City of Los Angeles and beyond on behalf of the LAPD, having been designated "LA's OWN."

MUSICAL DIRECTOR, CONDUCTOR, MAESTRO RICHARD ALLEN

Gene Roddenberry

Chief William H. Parker

Leonard Nimoy (Actor)

GET TO KNOW A BAND MEMBER...

MAESTRO 
RICHARD
ALLEN

Maestro Richard is a Los Angeles based composer, arranger, and performer.  He began his training early as a classical pianist and then studied composition and jazz at the prestigious California Institute for the Arts, and film composition at UCLA. He has recently returned from London where he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The London Symphony Orchestra, for a project of Sherman Brothers music.

 

Richard began his professional career writing jingles for the radio. He then went on to travel extensively as Music Director for Holland America Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  On his return to Los Angeles, Richard continued working as an arranger, along with playing with the Louis Bellson Big Band, the Buddy Rich Big Band, and Bobby Vinton. Richard spent ten years at Disneyland, performing with the world-famous Disneyland Big Band and The Golden Horseshoe Variety Show.  He also served as Music Director/Conductor for the “Disney Legend Bill Justice 90th Birthday Gala," and on ABC Network’s pilot of “The Mike and Maty Show.”

 

As an arranger, Richard has orchestrated music for John Williams, The Boston Pops, The London Symphony, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Kodak Theater, Disneyland, and numerous cruise lines.  He has conducted over 100 musicals, including several West-coast premieres, and served as the resident Music Director for both the San Gabriel Valley Music Theater, one of the largest regional theaters on the West coast, and The Shakespeare League of Pasadena.  He has also composed music for several original theatrical productions, including “Poe," “The Water Hole,” “Frankenstein, Snow Maiden," “Nightingale & The Rose,” and the children’s theatrical experience “Opossum Tails.”

 

Richard has recorded two CDs, “Music Magic," royalty-free music for magicians, and “That 80’s Music," a compilation of original player-piano arrangements. His original compositions can be heard on television, radio, and film, as well as being featured at the world famous Magic Castle.

MEET THE PRODUCTION TEAM

JIM
STARR
CHRISTINA CHALLEY
MICHAEL ELLINGTON

Jim Starr has been a sworn LAPD and Reserve Officer, and Band Liaison to the Chief of Police for many years.  He is well known as the "Singing Cop," a title bestowed upon him by Chief Edward Davis while performing for the children of Los Angeles. He has performed on National and local TV, the Hollywood Bowl and his own TV series.  He has produced shows at the Kennedy Center, Shrine Auditorium and Las Vegas. Jim has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California and has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. 

Christina has been a featured vocalist in numerous bands, including Les Brown and His Band of Renown she has recorded with Country Music Hall of Fame recipient, Cliffie Stone; written and produced theatrical and television shows, including the children's musical, "Starrland;" and has sung on TV shows "Your Big Break" and the "Gilmore Girls."  She has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.

"As Master of Ceremonies, former Custody Sergeant Michael Ellington recounts Department and Academy history to families and friends in attendance at monthly Training Division Recruit Graduations."

 

His production background includes all aspects of three-camera news broadcast, as well as award nominations for the crime information show he wrote and anchored.  Ellington has amassed considerable experience in cable-originated, magazine format broadcast as well as voice overs for numerous online and computer-based training classes.

NEEDED...
VOLUNTEER MUSICIANS

Contact us for more information.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

lappl_logo_0.png

REQUEST A PRESS KIT

Complete press kit available upon request.

CONTACT US FOR MORE LAPD BAND INFORMATION & SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

PRESS RELEASE

FIRST EVER PRESS RELEASE RE. CONCERT BAND