Kicking off its 24th season, the Sequim City Band invites concertgoers to march right up and take a hand in its future.
“Marches and More — in March” opens the 2014 season at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at the Sequim High School Auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave.
As promised, marches lead the program, including William Walton’s “Crown Imperial”; a Dixieland funeral march to “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”; the paso doble “Espana Cani”; selections by John Philip Sousa and Henry Fillmore. Part of a more formal piece, Gustav Holst’s “First Suite in E-flat,” is also a march.
“As a community band, we play marches all the time,” said conductor Tyler Benedict. “This program is to let the community know there are different kinds of marches.”
In addition to the rest of Holst’s suite, more formal pieces in the concert include music from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” and the band’s Miles Vokurka is featured on clarinet for Henri Rabaud’s “Solo de Concours.”
Future concerts include marches, orchestral pieces, musicals and soundtracks, as well as contemporary concert selections — all offered free to the community. The band features adult players from Clallam and Jefferson counties and beyond. John Chittick, who travels 50 miles from Lilliwaup to practice and perform, praises the band’s set-up.
“It’s similar to other community bands I’ve played in,” he said, “but way better organized. It reminds me of a university concert band.”
In addition, the Sequim City Band has provided a performance place for more than 30 high school and university students over the years, including current trombone player David Kennedy, a high school senior from Port Angeles who calls the band is “a great experience.” The band also has awarded several scholarships to local students pursuing music at the college level.
Another current initiative of the Sequim City Band is its performance with other area groups.
“Last September,” Benedict said, “we performed a joint concert with the Port Townsend Summer Band. This year, we will be performing with the Port Angeles High School Band for our May concert, which will be held at the Port Angeles High School Auditorium.”
The band has performed at one of Port Angeles’ Concerts on the Pier and hopes soon to work with the Sequim High School Band.
Strike up the band
Peninsula community members who play are always welcome to join the Sequim City Band. This year, said publicity director Vicky Blakesley, the band extends a special invitation to all community members — whether they play an instrument or not — to take part in the band’s offerings. Beginning this year, the board of directors will be made up not only of band members but also community members interested in helping the band plan for its future.
Rather than contribute funding, board members are asked to pony up their “ideas and elbow grease” to assist the band in making decisions about its future. The band that began with 14 members, for example, is now outgrowing its practice space in the James Center for Performing Arts. (The James Center was built, in fact, with funds provided by the Sequim City Band.)
Board members are needed to create new ways of fundraising. Other volunteers could staff information areas at the band’s concerts and perform other outreach services. Community members are also invited to join the “Band-Aides” for $5 a year: each aide receives the band’s newsletter.
The band gathers to rehearse at 7 p.m. each Monday evening at Swisher Hall in the James Center for the Performing Arts, 563 N. Rhodefer Road, Sequim. For more information about joining the band or volunteering, visit www.sequimcityband.org, call 360-207-4722 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.