AUBURN – January marks the Auburn Community Band’s annual open-membership period. All musicians who wish to take part in this summer’s special 25th anniversary outdoor concert season have until the end of January to start participating in rehearsals.

Due to some recent changes in the group, the band has an immediate need for several percussionists who can read music. The organization also hopes to grow its flute, saxophone, French horn and tuba sections.

The 50-member band rehearses from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at the High Street Congregational Church, located between High and Pleasant streets. Musicians must have their own instrument and music stand and be able to commit to the weekly schedule of Wednesday evening rehearsals and concerts.

From late May through mid-September the band presents outdoor concerts every week. The spring concerts are typically offered on-site at area senior citizen living centers.

Starting in June, the band offers weekly programs at Festival Plaza in downtown Auburn, weather permitting. A different selection of music, appealing to young and old audiences, is featured during each Wednesday 7 p.m. performance.

This summer’s slate of free concerts has tentatively been scheduled to begin on June 14 and run through Aug. 23.

The current membership ranges in age from 15 to 80. Collectively, the organization represents 16 central and southern Maine towns. Before joining, many of the group’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 join,” said Simon, “but most regain their musical skills within a short period of time.” Simon added that the opportunity to perform weekly in front of audiences often averaging in size from 400 to 500 people is appealing to most musicians.

This year marks the Auburn Community Band’s 25th season under Simon’s direction. Interested musicians are asked to call the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department at 784-0191 before attending their first rehearsal.


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