This past week I enjoyed a chance to hear a community concert. It was a reminder of the type of community music making, audience building, and education we all need to be a part of.
My plan that night was to take my son to a band concert at Arizona State. But also my nephew was playing a concert with his middle school band, which my wife had taken him to. She gave me a call just as we were heading to ASU that his concert program looked really interesting as it was a concert combined with the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band, an adult community group that rehearses at his school. After a quick conversation with my son we opted to change plans and head to the middle school.
The concert opened with the middle school band which was cool for me in that I had helped start two of the three 8th grade horns as 6th graders and they both plan to play into high school.
Then the community band played, a large group, and they sounded great on a crowd pleasing program. From their website we learn
The Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band is a non-profit, adult, community based concert band. We are dedicated to providing our members an opportunity for life-long musical expression, promoting music in the lives of young people and providing cultural enrichment in our community.
The most heartwarming part though and the reason I wanted to write about this was the transition at the end. The last work performed combined the 8th grade bands and the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band. As the concert band made space for the 8th graders they were greeted with handshakes and conversation. I could not hear the words, I was way in the back, but you can imagine the scene of adult amateur players ranging from roughly ages 30-80 greeting the 8th graders, asking their names, making chit chat that they were happy they were playing their instruments, etc. It is the sort of thing that will help the 8th graders be more inclined to stick with music in the longer term, that it is an activity they can maintain for a lifetime if they chose.
I enjoyed my brief window into the world of community music making. I am sure a good number of our Horn Matters readers are involved with similar community groups (I have been in the past as well) and to you I do say bravo, keep the music going.