Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Summertime and the music’s playing

June 25, 2003

Nothing signals summer better than hot, windy days, the smell of freshly ignited fireworks and a concert in the park.

Next week, summer will be in full swing as the community celebrates our nation's birthday by setting off firecrackers, lighting smoke bombs and firing up roman candles. It appears Tonganoxie will see continued warm weather.

And the Tonganoxie Community Band, now in its second year and stronger than last year, is planning an evening concert at VFW Park.

During the past month, between 40 and 50 musicians -- both young and old -- have gathered on Tuesday evenings in the band room at Tonganoxie High School. Under the tutelage of Charles VanMiddlesworth II -- known simply as Mr. Van -- the musicians have played a wide variety of tunes. They've tried out highlights from "Harry Potter," the movie, not the book. They've played a march or two. And they've worked on some patriotic numbers.

And now, they're ready to dazzle the community with their abilities.

What's impressive about this group is that some of them haven't played a musical instrument in years. Others haven't played a musical instrument since last year. And the younger among the bunch have been practicing with Mr. Van during the past school year.

But they've all come together, lugging saxophones, flutes and trumpets, on Tuesday nights because they love to play. They enjoy the camaraderie of others who love music. And they thrive on energy and enthusiasm supplied by Mr. Van.

Tonganoxie truly is fortunate that Mr. Van had the vision to create a community band and that musicians answered his call and helped bring that vision into focus.

This year's band, which is nearly double in numbers from last year's inaugural group, will perform Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m. Games for children and an ice cream social will get started about an hour before the band tunes up.

Thanks to Mr. Van and his merry band of community members, the evening sounds like a perfect way to celebrate summer in Tonganoxie.

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