Our Director

Steve Kimmons

Founder and Musical Director
West Orange Community Band

A native of York, Pennsylvania, Steve Kimmons discovered a love of music early in life, taking both piano and horn lessons as a child.  In his senior year of high school, he was featured as horn soloist and student conductor with the York Youth Symphony, and as pit orchestra conductor for his high school’s production of “No, No, Nanette!”

Steve attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music and Music Education.  After graduation, he served as Director of Bands at Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  A few years later, he auditioned for the position of Band Officer in the United States Air Force, and was among four selected from a field of seventy-five candidates.  At the end of his fifth year of teaching, he entered the Air Force and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation from Officer Training School. 

His six-year career in the United States Air Force included assignments as Deputy Commander and Associate Conductor of the Strategic Air Command Band, Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska; and Commander and Conductor of the Eighth Air Force Band, Barksdale Air Force Base, near Shreveport, Louisiana.  During his time at Barksdale, he rose to the rank of Captain, and also earned a Master of Arts in Human Relations and Supervision at Louisiana Tech University.

After serving for six years, Steve pursued a career outside of music, working as an Alumni Relations professional in higher education for sixteen years, and a fundraising professional for an additional twelve years. 

Despite leaving music as a profession when he left the Air Force, Steve has maintained a connection with the world he loves.  He has guest conducted such diverse ensembles as the Ithaca College Alumni String Orchestra, the Franklin & Marshall College Blue and White Singers, the Archbishop Molloy High School Band, and, on three separate occasions, the Air Force Band of Liberty, formerly from Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. 

Throughout his life, Steve has had a deep and abiding love for community bands and orchestras. In a musical career that has spanned six decades, he has performed with nineteen different community bands and orchestras, played in sixteen, conducted eight, served as a board member for three, performed as a soloist with two, served as Musical Director for three, and founded two. Highlights include his founding of the New Carrollton Band in Maryland in 1982, guest conducting the Shreveport Metropolitan Concert Band in concert on his last full day in uniform in 1990, and, of course, founding and leading the West Orange Community Band since 2019.  He remains active as a horn player as well.

In December 2023, Steve had the honor of conducting the Moorestown Community Band at a concert dedicated in memory of his Uncle Robert McCoy, the band’s founder.  We believe that Steve and his Uncle Bob are the only family members to have founded different community bands in the state of New Jersey.

Steve is retired and resides in West Orange, New Jersey with his wife Ruth.  Their daughters Rozie and Emily live nearby.