Most hear the phrase "marching band" and automatically associate it with high schools. However, the roots of marching bands are actually in military bands. Even today, high school marching bands bear a strong resemblance to the military bands of the past with their brightly colored uniforms and the plumes in their hats. Another contributing factor to high school bands is local town bands. Towns often had bands with musicians of varying ages. When the popularity of such bands began to dwindle, many of the younger participants could consider joining a school band.
Of all the history in Osceola County, one aspect that certainly stands out from the rest is the history of its marching bands. One of the best known bands in Osceola County was that of Osceola High School, which many considered to be the finest in the state. As schools were initially segregated in Osceola County, not all the county's students had the opportunity to participate in such a great band. However, Osceola County's first black high school, Kissimmee High School, was finally built and every student had the freedom to join a marching band. Eventually, integration took place in Osceola County schools, and students of any heritage could play together, as equals, in a high school marching band.
The Osceola County Historical Society is currently showcasing a temporary exhibit, "Step in Time: Marching Bands of Osceola County", celebrating the history of the county's marching bands by featuring historical band uniforms and memorabilia from local high schools. The exhibit also explores the subject of integration through information about the band of Kissimmee High School. The exhibit is free to the public and will be open January 15, 2017-April 15, 2017.
To enjoy a different aspect of this exhibit, consider attending the Opening Reception on January 25, 2017 at 5:30pm. This reception is free to the public and includes refreshments. In addition, the Osceola County Historical Society will host Art in the Archives, an artist-led paint night, on February 22, 2017 at 5:30pm. This event is $30 and includes supplies, snacks and sips! Reservations are required.