Glendale’s Summer Band played a significant role in the construction of the Glendale Amphitheater at City Hall. In the early years, under founder E. Lowell Rogers, the band first played in a local Basha’s parking lot and later on portable stages at O’Neil Park. (A shuffle board court and then a basketball court served as the “performance area.”)
When Glendale decided to construct a new municipal complex, the architectural firm of Sexton and Varney was commissioned to do the job. There were to be two major structures, an office building and the City Council Building. While designing the complex, architect Bob Sexton was faced with a dilemma: how to tie the two buildings together in a pleasing and functional way?
Sexton had been a tenor sax player in the Glendale Summer Band for a number of years. He knew first-hand about the need to create a permanent “home” for summer band performances. He then came up with the idea of connecting the two parts of the complex with an amphitheater. After consulting with the band director, the size of the stage was predicated on the size of the band. The rest is history.
Unfortunately, Bob Sexton passed away shortly before the project was completed. Although he didn’t live to see his dream realized, or have the pleasure of performing in this venue, he left the legacy that will be so useful for so many in years to come.