A volunteer organization playing concert band music for recreation and community service in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Old Bills 2013

CFJH_logo_color_oldbills_2013The Jackson Hole Community Band is a 50-piece ensemble founded in 1989 that rehearses nearly year-round to provide free entertainment—from old favorites by Duke Ellington, to toe tapping marches by Sousa, to classics by Bach. In 2012 JHCB held the third annual Halloween performance with over 350 people in attendance, including over 200 school children. Band members, all volunteers, range in age from the teens to the 80s and hail from backgrounds as diverse as engineering, software, medicine, law, real estate, and the clergy.

Won’t you jump on the bandwagon? Your support of the Jackson Hole Community Band helps to buy new music, keeps our performance trailers rolling, pay rent in our rehearsal space in the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, and supply our equipment and instrument needs, among many other things. We couldn’t do what we do without your support.

We thank you for your past support and ask you to please consider a contribution to the Jackson Hole Community Band through Old Bill’s Fun Run 2013, where your donation will be augmented by generous community philanthropists. Just list the JHCB on your donor form or visit www.oldbills.org.

copy-1-of-dsc_0075With great thanks,
The Jackson Hole Community Band

Jason Wright, President
Julie Wilson, Vice-President
Dean Scofield, Treasurer
Elizabeth King, Secretary
Don Cushman, Business Manager

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.

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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.

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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