By Nancy Price
What began as a small music festival featuring a few community bands in the state five years ago has grown into a day-long event of back-to-back entertainment from hundreds of musicians gathering to the Greenwood Amphitheater on an annual basis.
Community Concerts in the Park, hosted by the Greater Greenwood Community Band, will be playing this Saturday, Aug. 24 from noon to 8 p.m. Eight community bands from all across Indiana will be performing a full spectrum of music, from big band, swing/dance and a variety of jazz to British brass, popular show tunes, marches and theme songs from TV shows.
“We will play some traditional and familiar tunes,” said Martha McQueen, member of Greater Greenwood Community Band. “Some songs, the audience may not recognize the name when they read the programs, but once we start playing, they will recognize the song. Our lineup includes “Semper Fidelis” (a march), selections from the movie soundtrack, The Greatest Showman, “Curtain Call,” “Clarinet Candy” (a song featuring the clarinet section), “Bugler’s Holiday” (a song featuring our trumpet section), “Explorations,” music of The Beatles (a medley of favorites), “Shenandoah,” (a great American folk song) and patriotic music.”
The light-hearted, upbeat summer concert may appeal to children of all ages, according to McQueen. “It is a wonderful way to expose children to music,” she said. “For those young listeners in their school bands, they can see that music is something that they can participate in years after they graduate from high school. For our non-musician audience members, they can sit back and tap their toes.”
The band lineup includes the Indianapolis Symphonic Band (noon), Crossroads Brass Band (1 p.m.), Starfighters Big Band (2 p.m.), Hamilton County Community Band (3 p.m.), Terre Haute Community Band (4 p.m.), Madison Community Band (5 p.m.), Bloomington Community Band (6 p.m.) and the Greater Greenwood Community Band (7 p.m.).
Steve Roskowski, board president of the Greater Greenwood Community Band, said the central Indiana site and sound quality from the Amphitheater are draws for the growing concert’s popularity. “Being the Southside of Indy, it’s easy to get to from anywhere throughout the state, the Amphitheater has great projecting sounds and Greenwood has a long history of being a musical city,” he said.
“The band is looking forward to hosting this event for our community,” McQueen added. “The city of Greenwood has been very supportive of our efforts. We thank the city for providing this beautiful venue. In the past, visiting bands have complimented our venue. People who may not be familiar with Greenwood can see what a nice place Greenwood is.”
Guests attending the free concert are welcome to bring their own food and drinks or purchase a meal consisting of a burger or hot dog, chips, a drink and dessert for $5. “This is the cheapest date you can go on,” joked Roskowski.
Fans, especially younger ones, of the Greater Greenwood Community Band can look forward to the next concert on Sept. 22, also held in Greenwood Amphitheater. Selected music will appeal to children, who can interact with musical instruments and enjoy an evening of face painting, balloons and a petting zoo.
For more information about the Greater Greenwood Community Band, including concert information and details about the band’s trip to Ireland next year, go to greenwoodband.org.
The band also has future plans for small breakout ensembles, including woodwinds and brass quintets, and is seeking venues to perform. For questions or more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go …
Community Concerts in the Park
Aug. 24, noon-8 p.m.
100 Surina Way
Greenwood, IN 46143