2019 will mark our 30th season of community concerts and activities! At this major milestone, the JHCB continues to grow and improve in both musicianship and outreach. With your help, we hope our 30th season will be the best one yet! Comprised of musicians of all ages and backgrounds, drawn together through a shared love of music and a commitment to enhancing Jackson Hole’s artistic and cultural character, we hope you’ll consider supporting the financial health of the Band this year through Old Bill’s Fun Run.
Thanks to this support we have been able to continue our efforts to create fun and unique concerts for the community such as last season’s “A Wrinkle in 3/4 Time” spring concert musical time traveling adventure. Your donation through Old Bills Fun Run 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 have many exciting events planned for this anniversary season, and we hope that you will be along for the ride with us!
Thank you from all of the Jackson Hole Community Band Members.
I played the flute from 5th grade until I graduated from High School, then played in the Bishop California Community Band a couple times right out of high school. I moved to Jackson for a summer in 1980 and stayed, life, work, family, children, and Jackson Hole activities filling my life and my flute collecting dust in the closet.
In 2004 I was sitting in the stands at my son’s little league game. One of the other moms, Nancy Ninnemann, who I also know from Boy Scouts, was talking about paying the flute. I told her I played the flute in High School, she immediately said “why aren’t you in the Community Band”. After a bit of arm twisting I agreed to come to a rehearsal.
I had not played with an organized group in almost 25 years and had not played more than a few notes in 20 years. I pulled my flute out of the closet and put it together. The Cork on the head joint was loose but it still worked and I could play a scale from memory. Remembering how to play it was like riding a bicycle, no problem. However remembering how to read music proved to be a bit more challenging, I pulled out my fingering chart and went to rehearsal a couple days later.
When I arrived at rehearsal there were about 30ish musicians there, other than Nancy I only knew one other person, Cecilia Bellinghiere, also from Boy Scouts. Nancy had a chair and stand ready for me, and when I sat down she handed me a folder of music. OMG! What did I get myself into? Lots and lots of lines and black dots, I was completely overwhelmed. I looked at Nancy and said “Middle line is a B, right?”.
One of the pieces we rehearsed that night was The Liberty Bell by John Phillip Sousa… lots of black dots were on the page. I must have had the ‘deer in the headlights’ look on my face, Nancy assured me I would recognize the tune. We began… the Monty Python Theme! And right where the Monty Python Theme stops and spits a raspberry the conductor, Don Cushman, stopped us. If I had only known these people like I do now I would have filled in the empty air with the classic raspberry.
I practiced often that spring, windows open, torturing my husband and neighbors. I remember after a week or so my husband comment that it’s starting to sound like music. YAY, it was coming back. I went to a few more rehearsals, performed in a parade, a concert, then summer break. During the break I sent my flute at a shop for a tune up.
Even though there was a near 25 year break all that knowledge was still there. The marches on little pieces of paper are harder to see than I remember, I have to blow up them to read the notes. Playing pieces I had memorized in high school was a little weird too. I would get to a part I still remembered then lose where I was on the music in front of me. Within a year I purchased a metal piccolo for parades, eventually becoming 2nd piccolo, and roping my husband into pulling the band on a trailer in the local parades. In 2012 we lost our primary piccolo player, Norma Foster, to cancer, I moved to her chair, I think about her often and always try to live up to her example.
It’s 2018, I have two jobs, a weekend ski pass, my husband and I spend most summer weekends in our RV, we fish, bicycle, and I have band. I’m the Librarian, Vice President, the JHCB Website Administrator, and a much better musician than I was in high school. As busy as my life is, I can not imagine my life without music, music is good for the soul. And the friends I have made in Community Band are like an extended family.
Did this make you reminisce about your years in High School or College Band? Do you miss a life with music in it? Why aren’t you in the Jackson Hole Community Band? Rehearsals are 7pm at the Center for the Arts, in the performing arts wing. Dust off your instrument and join us.
When I moved to Jackson Hole in the late 60’s , there weren’t a lot of playing opportunities for amateur musicians. I played a little with some pick-up combos, but eventually put the instrument away for about 15 years. When I heard about the community band starting up, I was excited, but also nervous. I hadn’t played for so long! I practiced a few times to see if I could even still play, got my nerve up and went to that first rehearsal. After that – I was hooked!
I’ve had some very stressful jobs over the years and sometimes, after a long day of work, I really didn’t feel like going to rehearsal, but I made the effort and felt so much better for it. When you are playing music, you are totally in the moment and forget about everything else. Community Band rehearsal became a two hour time frame to escape from the stresses of the workplace and the two year old twins! Thank goodness I have a husband who could take on that responsibility one evening a week.
A good friend, former band member and fellow musician , A.J. deRosa said , “Community Band is like high school band, you meet people that you would never see anywhere else in your life.” This is so true! In band there are people of all ages and from all walks of life, with one thing in common – a love of music and playing music together.
We have great times together, meet wonderful people and escape from the stresses of everyday life. What could be better!!
If you’ve played an instrument in the past, come join us. There are no auditions, no big requirements – just the ability to read music and play a band instrument. If you don’t have an instrument, we may be able to find one for you. It’s fun, relaxing and you’ll meet people. Give it a try!