Weekender

Community bands come together for spring concert

The Bellefonte Community Band will perform with the Central Pennsylvania Community Band on Sunday.
The Bellefonte Community Band will perform with the Central Pennsylvania Community Band on Sunday. Photo provided

The Bellefonte Community Band will perform its Spring Concert at Bellefonte High School on Sunday, but it won’t be alone. The Central Pennsylvania Community Band will join in — the first time the performance groups have come together.

“The idea is to continue the process of making music with others and what better way to complete such a task than with musicians who share the same motivation,” Bellefonte Community Band director Josh Long said.

The process isn’t entirely new to Long, as members of the Bellefonte group have participated in the Mid-Penn Band — a group of several community bands in mid-Pennsylvania — in past years. Additionally, he said that community bands joining up to perform as one ensemble was something he experienced growing up in Eastern Pennsylvania.

“So I approached Paul Kellerman, the Central Pennsylvania Community Band conductor, to see if their ensemble would be interested in performing a concert together,” Long says. “Paul has been very interested, actually quite enthusiastic, as he has been looking to do something different with his band. Since our initial conversation and meeting, we have been highly motivated to provide a fun performance for not only our audience, but our members.”

So, how do you combine two bands into one performance? The process has taken months of preparation, and audiences will get to see both bands play separately, before they join together for more than 100 individual musicians performing as a group.

“Both Paul and I had many conversations dealing with how the concert will occur,” Long said. “Such conversations included what repertoire each ensemble will perform individually, so we do not play the same piece, as well as planning for our combined numbers.”

He’s quick to note that the experience, while challenging, has also provided plenty of rewarding moments.

“I would say the best part of this endeavor is watching the excitement not only in our eyes ... but in our members who seem quite motivated to perform together,” he said. “This is what performing music in a community band is all about — sharing, being with others and, of course, performing music.”

Though the Bellefonte Community Band is hosting the inaugural two-band concert, the Central Pennsylvania Community Band plans to host a similar concert in the Bald Eagle area in 2018.

IF YOU GO

  • What: “Marches, Dances & Celebrations”
  • When: 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Bellefonte Area High School, 830 E. Bishop St., Bellefonte
  • Info: bellefonteband.net
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