Community Band Concerts make beautiful music

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By Rick Palsgrove
Eastside Editor

There’s something about music and summer that just feels so right.

The Reynoldsburg Community Band will tap into this feeling with its annual Community Band Concert Series to be held June 9, July 14, and Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1520 Davidson Drive.

“We are the best free show in Reynoldsburg in the summer,” said Bill Douglas, publicity chair for the Reynoldsburg Community Band.

The band, which formed in 1997 and is open to anyone high school age or older becoming a member, generally uses 35 to 40 musicians for a concert.

“We have several mother-daughter combinations in the band and we also have a grandfather and two of his grandsons playing in the band,” said Douglas.

According to Douglas, the band performs a wide variety of music.

“We play show tunes, marches, big band, swing, jazz, some more symphonic pieces,” said Douglas. “The music is generally completely different at our concerts in June and July. Traditionally in August we will add a few new numbers and bring back some of the crowd favorites from the previous two concerts. The only exception is the band closes all of our summer concerts with ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’ by John Phillip Sousa.”

Douglas said performing outdoors can present challenges.

“You are always at the mercy of the weather,” he said.  “The band has been fortunate to move their summer concerts into the Reynoldsburg Senior Center during bad weather and we have played at the indoor shelter in Columbus’ Park of Roses during a natural light show – lightning!”

Music’s role in our lives

Douglas said the Community Band is important because it provides an opportunity for people to continue to perform music and is a social outlet.

“The band sets a good example for those in grade school and high school bands as an activity they can participate in for many years in the future and brings joy and wonderful memories to those in our audience,” said Douglas.

He said music plays an important part in people’s lives.

“Music is the universal language. It knows no color, nationality, or spirit,” said Douglas. “It has the ability to set a mood or change a mood in an instant.  One moment you can be listing to something that will bring you tears with its emotion and in a matter of moments you can be smiling and tapping your toe to something that brings back a happy memory.”

Douglas recalled one such memory.

“I remember playing for a nursing facility one Sunday afternoon,” he said. “One lady was brought from her room in a transport chair. She sat motionless covered with a blanket in the crisp fall air. She was in a position where I could watch her during the concert. She laid there and had no reaction as we played different pieces during the concert. It came time to end the concert and we began our traditional finale, the ‘Stars and Stripes Forever.’ I looked over at the lady in the chair. She was tapping two of her fingers in time with the music on her chest! That’s why it’s important to have a community band and people to volunteer their time and talent to provide joy and inspiration to our audiences.”

Other performances

Besides the summer concert series, Douglas said the band has been selected to play at the Lancaster Music Festival and the The Civitan Club of North Columbus Summer Concert Series At The Gazebo in the Park of Roses. The band was invited to play at the West Jefferson Christmas in the Town last December. The band also plays at retirement and care facilities around the central Ohio area.

“The band also provides a Free Christmas Concert for the Reynoldsburg community at the Senior Center in December,” said Douglas. “As a ‘thank you’ to the community for its support, the band members sponsor a reception with seasonal goodies and treats for those in attendance after the concert.

For information on the Reynoldsburg Community Band, visit http://reynoldsburgcommunityband.org/.

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