The rich history of the Olathe Civic Band dates back at least to the late 1800’s to what was then called the M. O. B. Band – appropriate because it was organized by a man named Milton O. Barnes. A young man’s band called the Olathe Military Band followed a few years later. There is also evidence of a civic band playing for dignitaries arriving for the 1904 Old Settlers celebration. In 1913, an Olathe mail carrier formed the Olathe Boys Band, and by 1922 girls had joined the band. This band played at events around the community including the Priest of Pallas parade, the predecessor to the American Royal parade. Featured on a local Kansas City radio station (WHB), the Band was also a prizewinner at the Topeka State Fair.
Following a hiatus of several years, Ed Badsky, an Olathe school band director and community leader, decided that Olathe needed a community band once again. Dedicated to a life of music, and following his retirement from the school district, Mr. Badsky resurrected the community band in 1983, calling it the Olathe Civic Band. He continued as the Band’s director until 1998.
During the last 10 years, the band has doubled in size, and still follows the vision of Mr. Badsky. The Band is an all volunteer group dedicated to bringing quality, family entertainment to the community. In addition, anyone with a love of music who wants to offer their talent is welcome in the Band.
So, a Community Band has been performing in Olathe and Johnson County since before 1900. Today, it’s virtually impossible to attend a major community event in Olathe and not hear a performance by this outstanding band.