Classic City Band to perform at Cultural Center’s Independence Day party
By Isabela Rzeznik
Watching fireworks is the classic way to celebrate the Fourth of July. How about adding the Classic City Band of Athens to the mix? On the front lawn of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the band celebrates our nation’s 236th birthday with a concert of uplifting, patriotic favorites. The Classic City Band of Athens performs its free Independence Day Concert and Picnic on July 3 at 7 p.m. With Michael Brewer at the band’s helm, you won’t want to miss this popular, local event.
The band, founded in 1976, gives free concerts in Athens and the surrounding areas during the year. It is also the oldest functioning band of its kind in Georgia. The 60 band members represent an assorted body of musicians ranging in age from high school to 94, with various vocations. The band is a non-profit community band and the musicians play for pleasure, regardless of experience level. Jeff Wilson, tenor saxophone, and Jim Crews, trumpet, both of Greensboro, joined the Classic City Band a year and half ago, when both felt a yearning to once again resume their instruments. “Community bands offer people like myself a great opportunity to once again play a musical instrument,” Crews said.
Wilson and Crews played music throughout their youth, but put down their individual instruments after they finished school and began their careers. After their other groups did not pan out, they opted to go to Athens and explore playing with the Classic City Band. They have been happy with their choice ever since. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of the band,” said Wilson. Both Wilson and Crews come from a military background, the Air Force and Army respectively, so being a part of the Independence Day entertainment is especially meaningful for them. “It is more than enjoyable,” said Crews of playing with the band.
“We’ve got a lot of talent,” said Wilson. According to Crews, the music is quite challenging to play. Although the band plays a variety of music, expect to hear patriotic, upbeat songs at the July 3 concert, including “America The Beautiful” and “1812 Overture”.
Concertgoers are encouraged to show up early to stake out their blanket space or rent a table for S20 through the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, so make it a family affair and bring a picnic and most of all enjoy the show! Uncle Sam (Zeke Lambert) will be in attendance and the National Anthem will be sung by MaCayla Cook, with festivities concluding with fireworks at Madison Heritage Park.
For more information about the Classic City Band, visit classiccityband.org.
Printed in the June 28, 2012 edition