Outdoor concerts are a plus on sultry summer evenings, and the Reynoldsburg Community Band is happy to oblige, with songs ranging from old favorites to pop, rock and musical theater.
The band played July 9 at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center and has more concerts scheduled, including a 7 p.m. performance Sunday, July 22, at Church of the Good Shepherd, 6176 Sharon Woods Blvd., Columbus.
The band is directed by Fred Nyline, with assistant directors Chesley Talisse and Aaron Jackson. It was formed in 1997 and has 53 members, said Lisa Waickman, who handles publicity.
“In October 1997, the city parks and recreation department held a meeting for those interested in a community band, which brought in about 13 or so people,” Waickman said. “The band then got organized and received permission to practice at Reynoldsburg High School.
“Shortly after, the band created a board and started running itself.
“Some of the original members are still active with the band today.”
The band rehearses Monday nights at Baldwin Road Junior High School, when school is in session, or at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center during the summer break.
Christine Boyer has played clarinet with the band since 2012. She said band members vary in age – high school age is the minimum.
“Our goals are to share music with people around central Ohio and to encourage musicians of all levels and ages to get involved with both the band and their community,” she said.
She said experience playing in a band is the only requirement for anyone who plays an instrument and wants to join.
“We want to encourage members both new and old of all skill levels,” she said. “Some of our members had not played since high school and others have had college or professional experience.
“We wanted to make it a true community band, incorporating all skill sets,” she said. “We are always looking for new musicians. We especially need percussion.”
Boyer said she had not played much since high school when she first joined.
“After a divorce, I started looking for things that made me happy and would also get me out of the house,” she said. “There were a lot of other clarinets, but everyone was so warm and welcoming that I kept coming back. I like that we play concerts and give back to the community as well.”
Trumpet player Wayne Cummings has been with the band for more than 20 years.
“We do not require auditions because many members of the band are restarting on their instruments after many years of inactivity,” he said. “This allows them a certain comfort level.”
He said the band has improved in many ways over the years.
“I have seen a steady improvement in overall musicianship,” he said. “I enjoy the band as much for the camaraderie as I do playing. I have made many friends over the years.”
The band will play at the Lancaster Festival at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at the downtown gazebo at Zane Square, East Main and North Broad Street in Lancaster.
Other concert dates are 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at the Reynoldsburg Food Truck Festival at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main St.; 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center, 1520 Davidson Drive; and at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Whetstone Park of Roses, 3901 N. High St.
Learn more at www.reynoldsburgcommunityband.org.