Robert “Doc” Mulligan Festival Day!

An icon in Berks County music, Robert “Doc” Mulligan has spent the better part of his life in music.  Born in Ashland, PA, young Bob Mulligan played trombone in his high school band.  That led to gigs in dance bands and a lifelong love of jazz music.   He continued playing after high school as a member of the Penn State Blue Band, also performing in a campus big band.

Pursuit of a medical career after college put music briefly on hold, but it wasn’t long until he began the journey that would lead to not only a distinguished career in radiology at the Reading Hospital, but also to notoriety as a gifted musician and arranger.

Doc Mulligan went on to perform with and write music for various local groups, including the Reading Big Band, the Dave Stahl Big Band and the Bobby Mercer Road Show.  Doc rarely charged for his arranging services.  His charts have ended up in the books of many big bands across the county, the state, and well beyond.

In 2005, Doc was presented with the inaugural Frank Scott Award, recognizing his contributions to music and jazz education in Berks County. In 2015, he was honored at the 25thBerks Jazz Fest with a commissioned composition dedicated to him, “Pretzel City Trilogy” composed by Chris Heslop.

Doc Mulligan has influenced and mentored many generations of Berks County musicians throughout his lifetime.  Doc was one of the original founders and promoters of the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest jazz education program (now known as Get JazzED), and has led to the Berks Jazz Fest declaring Sunday as “Doc Muliigan Get JazzED Day”.  This will become an annual event, featuring two jazz festival for students – middle school in the afternoon and high school in the evening.  Let jazz education continue in honor of Doc’s selfless example.

Let’s celebrate a life in music.  Let’s celebrate Bob “Doc” Mulligan!

2020 Festival Day: POSTPONED TO 2021. Click here to read Berks Jazz Fest statement.

Participation for each event is limited to six school big bands which must be registered by the band director. There is no registration fee, but participation is on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.  Registration closes tba.

This event is open to the public. Admission is $10/adults and $5/student with ID – cash only at the door.

Festival Chair: Millie Eben| 610-334-4635 | 

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