AUBURN – The month of January marks the Auburn Community Band’s annual open membership period. All musicians who wish to participate in the summer concert season have until Wednesday, Jan. 26, to contact the group’s leader regarding membership.

Rehearsals for the upcoming season began earlier this month. The group, which numbers more than 50 members, is seeking additional people who play bass clarinet, alto sax, bari sax or tuba. The group particularly needs several percussionists who can read music.

The band meets from 7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday at the High Street Congregational Church, located between High and Pleasant streets. Musicians must be able to commit to the group’s weekly schedule of Wednesday evening rehearsals and concerts. They also need to have their own instrument and music stand.

From late May and continuing through mid-September, the community band presents weekly outdoor concerts. The spring concerts are typically offered on-site at area senior citizen living centers. Starting in June, the band offers free concerts at Festival Plaza in downtown Auburn at 7 p.m. every Wednesday, weather permitting. This summer’s performances are tentatively slated for June 15 through Aug. 24.

The ages of the current band members range from 13 to 79. Collectively, the group represents 15 central and southern Maine towns. Before joining, many of the organization’s volunteer musicians had last played their instruments some 20 to 40 years ago, according to band director Milt Simon. “People are often nervous when they first come on board,” said Simon, “but most everyone regains their musical skills within a short period of time.”

This year marks the Auburn Community Band’s 24th season under Simon’s direction. The organization is jointly sponsored by HRH/Dunlap Corporation, the Gleason Radio Group and the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department. Interested musicians are asked to call the APRD at 784-0191 before attending their first rehearsal.

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