Get your foot ready to do some tapping.
That’s what you can expect if you attend the 21st annual performance of the Central Texas Community Band at 7:30 p.m. May 4. The performance will be at Howard Payne University’s Mims Auditorium.
The band is under the direction of Corey Ash, director of bands at HPU, and some of the selections will feature guest conductors who are band directors at area schools.
Rehearsals have been taking place for the past several Monday nights at HPU’s Davidson Music Complex.
About 50 musicians are participating in this year’s edition of the Community Band. Its members include newcomers and veterans, teen-aged musicians, seasoned citizen musicians and a couple of father-daughter combinations. They are from a variety of communities including San Saba, Coleman and Cross Plains.
Ash’s daughter, Katie, an HPU senior, is among the band members.
“It’s fun,” Ash said, noting that it’s particularly enjoyable when he sees musicians from different generations sitting next to each other, playing music.
“This year we’ve kind of had an influx of new people. We’ve had a lot of new adults going this year that haven’t been regulars.”
Ash doesn’t see the challenge of molding the Community Band as being any different from what he does each year with the HPU band. “It’s the same process as any high school or band director does each year,” Ash said. “You have a new ensemble every year.”
Ash said a community band is “kind of like church choir. You can’t choose who comes so you take who comes and put it together as best you can. Some years we’ll have a lot of this instrument and not much of that, and the next year we’ll have not much of this and more off that.
“I like the idea of people who, maybe, were in high school band or college band. They have these great memories of band and they get the opportunity to get that thing out and use it again, instead of just letting it sit in the corner gathering dust. I just love the idea of people getting to be a part of the band again. It’s really a neat idea.”
Ash said if he wasn’t the director, he would be playing in the Community Band.With a wide variety of skills to work with, Ash said, the band doesn’t focus on being highly technical in its music. “We’re just trying to get the general ideas, kind of get it under our belt where we can get through it, and then if we have time we can try to refine it as much as we can,” Ash said.
“It’s more of an espirit de corps, get everybody together, have a good time together playing music. We may not all of us be playing soccer in our 60s, but we can still play an instrument. That’s cool.”