Concert band invites new members

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AUBURN — The month of January marks the Auburn Community Concert Band’s annual open-membership period. All musicians who wish to take part in the band’s annual summer concert season have until Jan. 30 to join the group and start participating in the weekly rehearsals.

The community band has an immediate need for clarinet, alto and tenor sax players, along with percussionists who can read music. The group is also hoping to attract additional musicians who play flute, trumpet, French horn or tuba.

The 45-member performing group meets every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. from January through May. During these five months, band members learn more than 100 different musical selections. Rehearsals take place weekly at the High Street Congregational Church, between High and Pleasant streets. Musicians must have their own instrument and music stand, and be able to commit to most of the Wednesday evening rehearsals.

From June through early September, the band presents weekly Wednesday evening concerts. These free, 75-minute performances take place at Festival Plaza in downtown Auburn, weather permitting. A different selection of music is featured each week, appealing to audiences both young and old. The 2013 summer concert series is expected to begin on June 12 and run through Aug. 21.

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Director Milt Simon, with the assistance of Auburn’s Park and Recreation Department, first formed the group in the fall of 1981 to offer former high school and college band members an opportunity to continue using and improving the performance skills. This summer will mark the organization’s 32nd season. Members of the ACCB currently range in age from 17 to 88, and represent some 16 central and coastal Maine towns. Membership is open to anyone knowing how to play a wind or percussion instrument.

Before joining the ACCB, many of the group’s volunteer musicians had last played their instruments some 20 to 40 years ago, according to band director Simon. “New members are often nervous when they attend their first rehearsal, because of the length of time since they last held and played their instrument. However, most people regain their former musical skills within a short period of time.”

Simon added, “It’s like riding a bike; once you have learned how to do it, you never forget.” He stated that the opportunity to perform in front of audiences numbering 300 to 400 people on a weekly basis is typically quite appealing to both amateur and experienced musicians.

Additional information about the group is posted at www.auburncommunityband.com. Interested musicians are asked to call Simon at 782-3917 this month, prior to attending their first rehearsal.

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