Our Story

Sacramento and the surrounding region including Yolo, Placer, El Dorado and Amador counties support several adult volunteer community bands. Most have existed for years and proudly describe their unique origins. The Capitol Pops is not to be outdone!

A convivial group of Sacramento musicians on a Volga River cruise in 1996 agreed to get together after returning home to play old favorites…and that was how the Capitol Pops Concert Band began. The first rehearsal in Foothill High School and the first performance in the annual Carmichael Park Band Festival were in 1997. During the next twenty-six years, the band performed for many community events in the Sacramento region. By the time the covid pandemic silenced live music, the Capitol Pops had carved its niche in this lively music scene.

The covid pandemic was transformational. Resurrecting the Capitol Pops in spring 2022 was full of unknowns. We lost our director. How many band members would return? What to do with a trailer filled with percussion, audio, music stands and uniforms? The music library needed organizing and digital updating. Looking back, 2022 will be remembered as a year of goals set and challenges met.

Now as the Fall 2023 concert season approaches, the time, talent and dedication of many volunteer band members, family and friends are evident in the restructured organization. With a renewed sense of commitment to the community, the mission remains: to enrich the lives of performers and audiences with entertaining and appropriately challenging music. The band’s repertoire selected from America’s vast array of concert music now includes classical as well as popular tunes.

What does the future look like for the Capitol Pops? It will rely on musicians playing “as long as there is music in them” to paraphrase Louis Armstrong, supported by a dedicated Executive Board.

The Capitol Pops attracts musicians from all backgrounds, including talented younger adults. We realize the importance of encouraging and supporting the next generation. A robust yearly scholarship program has been established to award one high school and one college student funds for further training. To provide that, we routinely seek support from the business community, charitable sources, generous audiences and individuals. If you would like to help, there is more information on this website.

Our Executive Board

A community band is a musical ensemble composed of amateur and professional musicians who come together to perform music for the enjoyment of themselves and the community. This type of ensemble requires a great deal of collaboration and coordination between its members to be successful. As such, it is impossible for a community band to operate under the performance of just one person.

And like the band, unable to perform without the help of many, the execute board of the band works together to provide leadership, direction, and support to the band as a whole. The executive board is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the band and making decisions that will impact its future. Some specific responsibilities of the executive board include:

If you have a question for the board, please email us at board.members@capitolpops.org.

Director - Susan Hamre

Assistant Director - John Lillie

Board Members

Robin Stuhr

Board Chair - Alto Saxophone

email: robin.stuhr@capitolpops.org

Kreig Moore

Board Vice-Chair - Tuba

email: kreig.moore@capitolpops.org

Arnie Williams

Secretary - Euphonium

email: arnie.williams@capitolpops..org

Mike Tallent

Treasurer - Clarinet

email: mike.tallent@capitolpops.org

Jim Guyette

At Large Board Member - Trumpet

email: jim.guyette@capitolpops.org

Richard Bidlake

At Large Board Member - Clarinet

email: richard.bidlake@capitolpops.org

Jaci Tatro

At Large Board Member - Tuba

email: jaci.tatro@capitolpops.org

John Lillie

At Large Board Member - Percussion

email: john.lillie@capitolpops.org