Band History

The History of the Los Angeles Police Concert Band

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Established in 1914, the LAPD Band was originally comprised entirely of sworn officers and played for police graduations, civic functions and Los Angeles schools. Following the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, active police officers were required to dedicate their duty hours exclusively to enforcement, and, in response, the band was disbanded.

Shortly after, a group of civic leaders headed by Bob Ahmanson and Gene Rodenberry 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 professional musicians who play regularly in local symphonies, radio and television programs, movie studios and prominent “big bands”, as well as retired law enforcement, judicial, and fire department employees.

Aside from police department, fire department, military and civic performances, the band’s role of ambassador has taken it to Mexico, Sweden, Italy, Washington D.C., Ohio and Sacramento. The band has played for events such as the dedication ceremony of the California State Police Memorial and the dedication ceremony of the National Police Memorial in Washington, DC.

Now under the direction of Maestro Richard Allen, the band is poised and ready to represent the city and the police department wherever it is needed, always helping to build and improve community relations here and abroad.

Director Maestro Richard Allen

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The Los Angeles Police Concert Band is thrilled to announce the selection of Maestro Richard Allen as their new Director/Conductor. 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 Brother’s 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 also composed music for several original theatrical productions, including “Poe”, “The Water Hole”, “Frankenstein, Snow Maiden”, “Nightengale & The Rose”, and the children’s theatrical experience “Opossum Tails.”

Richard has recorded two CDs, “Music Magic”, which is 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.  Richard lives in Simi Valley, with his wife, Elly, and two beautiful children, Katelyn and Max.