Press Release: Lawrence Gazette and  11/22/2011 by JohnLeaver

Lawrence band members around band banner






Music keeps community band moving

Just because you haven’t picked up your bassoon or trombone in a while, doesn’t mean you can’t again. The Lawrence Community Concert Band’s conductor, Ron Tagliarino, said the band welcomes all musicians.

“You don’t need to be a professional musician. You can be someone who played in middle school or high school and then put it away from 30 years and just wants to pick the horn up again and play,” he said. “There are no dues or anything; it’s all free.”

The band gets together every week to make use of its members’ musical passion as they engage in playing many styles of music.

“We play a real variety of music, all kinds of things from Broadway show tunes to marches to Americana pieces to other kind of popular pieces,” said Lew Thurston, the band’s president.

Members of all ages are preparing for their upcoming holiday concert at the Lawrence Senior Center Dec. 8. Among the songs to be performed are “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “A Chanukah Celebration.”

For many of the members, joining the group is as much a musical pursuit as it is a social one.

“I like the fact that there are people there from all ages, I have people in their twenties and people in their late eighties, and we can come together and make some good music and share some experiences with one another,” Tagliarino said.

The band keeps busy throughout the year, Thurston explained.

“We do the Memorial Day service ever year … we have been doing this for many years out of Veterans Park in Lawrence at the conclusion of the Memorial Day parade, and everybody likes that,” he said. “We play a lot of things; some of the military pieces and marches and whatnot, and people enjoy that kind of thing on Memorial Day.”

Other venues frequented by the band are civic and senior centers, including Meadow Lakes, Monroe Village, Morris Hall and the Music in the Park event in Lawrenceville. Other concerts are also planned for this winter and spring. As of November, the dates were still being finalized.

The band is 20 years running, and with an attendance of about 40 members, it shows no signs of slowing down. A 20th anniversary concert is expect to be held sometime in 2012 to celebrate the event, though the date is not yet finalized.
It’s the music that keeps band members coming back year after year.

“I enjoy just playing the music myself, I enjoy playing for the audiences, and we like to see the enjoyment that they get from it. And I enjoy the social aspect of interacting with the other musicians who come from all walks of life and play all different instruments, so we all have a good time here,” Thurston said.

“It’s a lot of fun working with everyone here, we have a good time, it’s a social experience and every now and then things fall together and we have some nice sounding music,” added drummer Bob Johnson.

Anyone can join the Lawrence Community Band. All one needs to do is bring a suitable instrument and a desire to play to any rehearsal, which takes place Thursdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Senior Center. Instruments range from woodwinds, to brass, to percussions, and all are welcome to participate. No auditions are required.

The annual holiday concert is scheduled to be held Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Senior Center. Admission is free.

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