Music lovers and ex-band members may have a new venue to express themselves beginning this spring in the Conway Community Band.
Ricky Brooks, director of bands at the University of Central Arkansas has been working with Tim Cunningham, director of bands at Conway High School-West to resurrect the band, which Brooks said “fizzled out.”
“Conway had a community band decades ago and for whatever reason they stopped and laid dormant for a long time. This is the inaugural revival,” Brooks said.
Brooks said many communities have bands including Fort Smith, Hot Springs and North Little Rock.
“We’re modeling the band after other community bands in the state,” Brooks said. “It’s been very successful in other communities.”
Community bands can vary in size from around 30 to 90 musicians, according to Brooks.
A community band is typically made up, Brooks said, of musicians who were a part of high school or college bands. The purpose, he said, is to bring those musicians together to allow them a venue to play their instruments again.
The band will be open to any individual, regardless of age or income who previously or currently plays a band instrument.
The band will provide more than music to its community, and will “foster community spirit” through its free public concerts.
Brooks hopes for the presence of local businesses at their events in the form of sponsorship.
“The Chamber is very interested in our efforts for community and downtown reasons,” Brooks said.
If not these things, Brooks would simply like to promote the enjoyment of music for the people of Conway and surrounding communities.
Brooks has been meeting with the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce for about a year, exchanging ideas.
“The more we talk, the more ideas we come up with. We’ve been talking a while but had to wait until right before we were going to organize the band,” Brooks said. “And now we’re ready to get the word out.”
Brooks said the tentative schedule for a venue, performances, and practices has been made.
“We’re talking about using the band shell in Simon Park for a series of concerts in May and June - ending with a July 4th celebration,” Brooks said. “We want to do three concerts our inaugural year, and depending on how the season goes, we’ll look to expand.”
Rehearsals will take place once a week, on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The first organizational meeting will be April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Conway High School-West band room.
For more information on the Conway Community Band, contact Ricky Brooks at 450-5764.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)