When the Jackson Hole Community Band was formed for the Wyoming Centennial (re-established we said since Jackson had a small band in 1914), both Nancy and Tom were involved in its organization and rehearsals – Nancy on flute and Tom on tuba. Daughter Stephanie was 2 years old at the time. The band rehearsed in a variety of venues, and Stephanie would occupy herself in back of the band with what toys she brought along. 30 years later, she is still near the back of the band playing trumpet. Currently a member of a five veterinary doctor team in Aspen Colorado, Stephanie takes the band music to Colorado with her and practices along with recordings. In this way, she can still drive back to Jackson to participate with her parents in the band’s performances.
Nancy and Tom’s son Peter attended rehearsals in much the same way a few years after his sister. He became a familiar sight on the back of the band trailer near the percussionists so that he could jump off and chase down sheets of music that blew off the stands. By middle school, he studied percussion, became part of the school bands, and he often played with the Jackson Hole Community band until college. At those times, it was all four of the Ninnemann family playing in performances.
The Jackson Hole Community band was created to be an organization that encouraged musicians to continue to play as adults, and young musicians to build their skills. Indeed, the membership continues to be made up of members aged 14 to 82 and in vocations ranging from students to teachers, attorneys, journalists, veterinarians… and entire families.
Every journey begins with a single step. The Jackson Hole Community Band will begin it’s 2018-19 season with the many racing steps of Old Bills Fun Run. Who could ask for a better way to start?
For me, Old Bills has always been the start. Two years ago, I made my debut as the conductor on a wonderful sunny morning in Town Square. Since then, I have made new friends and strengthened old ones, seen the eyes of children light up when they hear a familiar Halloween tune, given audience members a journey around the world and through time and seen a side of Jackson that loves and appreciates the arts on a community level. My experiences are only a small fraction of the great experiences had by all the members of the band since its inception in 1989. This year we share some of those experiences leading up to Old Bills with a Meet a Member Campaign. Select members of the group will have a chance to blog on our website about their experiences with the band and why they still love being a member.
The music we’ll be playing at the Square will reflect the spirit of our group. From the zany sounds of The Muppets Theme to the laid back sounds of MacDonald and Hanley’s Indiana to the somewhat suspicious sounds of The Stripper. Every tune will help make this early September morning energize. And with that, every band member will bring their own personality into the music we present for you.
One thing I can’t forget to mention is the importance of donating to the Community Band via Old Bills Fun Run. Examples of how your donations help include instrument repair, maintenance of library materials, radio and newspaper publicity, rehearsal and concert space rentals, and so forth. These details are only a mere trifle as compared to the real intent of your donation. Your donation shows the love and support for community music making and its impact on the future of our society. I’ll see you on the square!
The Jackson Hole Community Band Celebrates Independence Day at Jackson Lake Lodge
Winter is a distant memory. The snow has melted. Adventurers are rafting down the Snake. Trails are blazing with mountain bikers and hikers. Summer is here! What better way to celebrate than a good ole fashioned patriotic concert!
I couldn’t be more excited for our Jackson Lake Lodge Concert. It’s truly a treat to perform in front of the beauty that is Jackson Lake and Mount Moran. Being so close to Independence Day, this concert will feature some classic American themed music from Henry Fillmore to John Philip Sousa to Aaron Copland. Veterans will have a chance to show their nation’s pride with our “Armed Forces Salute”, which features “The Caisson Song”, “Semper Paratus”, “The Marine Hymn”, “U.S. Air Force Song” and “Anchors Away”.
This concert also features a piece by american cartoonist and xylophonist George Hamilton Green. It’s a jovial rag for wind band and solo xylophone by the name of “Log Cabin Blues”. Somehow, it strikes up the image of a Yellowstone moose somehow making its way into a local’s cabin late at night. The xylophone soloist for this concert will be none other than yours truly. While not too difficult for the band to play, the xylophone solo challenges the player with complex stick movements and long improvisational-like arpeggios.
The program will have a chance to relax with a performance of Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me”. This performance features our one and only bassoonist, Caitlyn Falco, singing the enchanting lyrics. Caitlyn also sings with the Jazz Foundation of Jackson Hole and everyone in the band is excited to have her display her talent for this concert as well.
It wouldn’t be a Jackson Lake Lodge concert without PDQ Bach. Perhaps the most esteemed wind composer of all time, his works are reminiscent of a day in the life of a musical Mad Hatter. “March of the Cute Little Wood Sprites” is a tale as old as time. As described in the composers notes, “this piece was commissioned by a band of cute little wood sprites…and they were so pleased with the result that after the first performance several members of the troupe, still wearing wings and halos, climbed up on top of the composer and did a jig.” While seemingly a harmless work, this piece has provided the greatest challenge a community band could ever face; SINGING! Displayed at small intervals, community band musicians will have the opportunity to show off their reluctant dedication to the conductor with a few “Laas” and “Do-Waahs” here and there. I have no doubt that this group will use the power of the sprites themselves to pull off a charming display for the audience.
Lastly, our most challenging piece on the program (besides Midway March), “A Copland Tribute”. This piece takes the best parts of this american composer’s vast repertoire and cleverly sews it seamlessly into one piece for wind band. You will hear music from his “Fanfare for the Common Man”, “Simple Gifts” from “Appalachian Spring” and “Buckaroo Holiday” and “Hoe-Down” from “Rodeo”. The setting for this performance couldn’t be more Grand. I’m sure this conductor’s face will light up with majesty when hearing these classic Copland themes with a simultaneous view of Mount Moran. I can’t wait!