MCLA

MCLA Community Band Returns

04/28/2010

There are many ways in which community members may become involved with MCLA and its students. This semester, a number of local musicians recently returned to campus to participate in the College's Community Band, which was reinstated in January.

Taught by Bill Chapman, who also teaches percussion and drum set lessons at MCLA, the band consists of seven students and 19 community members. They meet on Tuesday nights, from 6:30-9 p.m. All local musicians are encouraged to join. There is no charge to participate.

"We have a great balance," Chapman said. "The band includes four flutes, three clarinets, and a bass clarinet. We have two alto saxophones, a tenor saxophone, a baritone sax, a couple of French horns, four trumpets, two trombones, a tuba and percussion."

Next Wednesday, May 5, the public is invited to a free concert in the MCLA Church Street Center, at 7 p.m., when the band will perform contemporary and classic wind band literature. In addition to the Community Band, the MCLA Jazz Band - conducted by instructor Jamie Choquette - also will perform.

The Community Band returned to campus earlier this year at the prompting of MCLA music professor Michael Dilthey, who asked Chapman if he would teach the class.

Having a mixture of students and community members in the band enhances all of the members' experiences in a variety of ways, Chapman said.

"(MCLA President) Mary Grant has done a great job in linking the community and the College," he said. "You see that in the artwork in MCLA Gallery 51. This is just another way for students that attend MCLA who aren't from the area to really be introduced to this community.

"Also, if I have a freshman in my class, they can sit next to a flute player who's been playing for 25 years. I definitely have a big age spread in this group. It's great," Chapman added.

A number of the community members who play in the band this semester participated in the former Community Band.

 "I have two trumpet players who are into their 70s and have played with this group since it began," said Chapman.

Although this semester's Community Band class soon will conclude, another will begin in the fall. Chapman encourages all musicians who live in the area who are interested in participating to join this growing program.

Those who would like to join the Community Band can contact him at w.chapman@mcla.edu .