Category Archives: Around Town

Small Town Tradition

The lighting of the town square is a living “Norman Rockwell Painting.” What is known as “black Friday” in the U.S. retail business world is the time for the annual observance, and downtown Jackson, WY, provides the setting. Friday night the day after Thanksgiving is the party — when the lights in the trees in the town square are turned on for the holiday season.

JHCB 2011

In the mid ’80s our brass quintet teamed up with the Jackson Hole Chorale to provide music for this festive event. We played Christmas carols and secular songs of Christmas, and the chorale led the singing. Kids and adults alike joined in singing and enjoyed the merriment in expectation for the lights to be turned on, followed by the arrival of Santa. After the advent of the Jackson Hole Community Band in 1989, additional brass members joined the quintet, and eventually, the woodwind players decided that they would like to join, too, despite the possibility of frozen and cracked reeds — and frozen fingers that must be exposed in order to cover the open holes on clarinets and some flutes.

“The show must go on!” Weather has always been a factor, but it has never stopped the event. We have played with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. That sounds pleasant, but if precipitation occurs, that means the players get wet instead of just being “dusted” with snowflakes. We’ve taken shelter to the best of our abilities under the large spruce trees, but eventually the drips find their way to the players.

Frozen Slide

With temperatures in the twenties, the setting is ideal. It’s cool enough for the snow to stay snow — on the ground or falling — but it’s not brutally cold for the instruments or the players. Fortunately, our memories of severely cold temperatures are few. One night in the early ’90s we started with the sign on the Jackson State Bank showing +2. It’s very difficult for the players to keep the instruments warm enough to function properly at that temperature. When we finished the ceremony a half-hour later, it showed -1, and we had several brass instruments with valves that were frozen in place, a couple of frozen trombone slides, and 3 icicles hanging from the bell of one of our trumpets.

Whatever the situation has been, we’ve looked forward to the cup of hot chocolate afterward, and we’ve always been warmed by the sense of community spirit. For those who have never attended, try to arrange your holiday schedule so you can make the next lighting of the Jackson town square — Friday night the day after Thanksgiving.

  Photo Album: Tree Lighting Ceremony


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Celebrate the season with a Senior Oktoberfest! The celebration includes an Oktoberfest inspired menu, strudel auction and live “Oom-pah” music with the Jackson Hole Community Band.

Wednesday, October 17

6:00 pm dinner
6:45 pm concert with Jackson Hole Community Band
Senior Center of Jackson Hole
$5.00 for Senior Citizens 60 years and older
$10.00 for non-seniors

Please make your reservation to attend with the Senior Center of
Jackson Hole by calling 733-7300 by 12:00 pm October 17th.
Senior Center of Jackson Hole 733-7300
Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department 739-9025


Farmers Market Saturday, August 18th 2012

We are excited to participate in the 2012 Jackson Hole Farmers Market on Saturday, August 18th. This year’s proceeds will help fund the Music in Harmony Collaborative Concert at the Center for the Arts on October 16th, 2012.

October’s concert will be an energizing night of music by five of your local non-profit music groups.

  • Jackson Hole Chorale
  • Jackson Hole Community Band
  • Jackson Hole Symphony Orchestra
  • Jackson Hole Jazz Band
  • Cathedral Voices

Please help us make this concert possible by supporting our local farmers this Saturday and stocking your cupboards with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, chocolates, homemade pies, scones, and much more.

The Jackson Hole Community Band will be there with our petting zoo instruments. Be sure to stop by our booth, have a cup of coffee, beat on the bass drum, and meet the musicians. We look forward to seeing you there!