Community band provides Friday evening entertainment

| June 7, 2019

COSHOCTON – A tradition that started in the 1960s continues today on the court square thanks to a group of dedicated musicians.

The Coshocton County Community Band has Friday concerts planned on the court square now through Aug. 2. All concerts start at 7 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Rain location is The Salvation Army.

The band will play at every upcoming concert except June 21 and July 26. June 21 will feature the Walhonding Rube Band and the Main Street Brass TubaFours will entertain on July 26.

Tim Vance, president of the band, said they were able to expand their concert series because of funding from Coshocton City Council and fundraising efforts from a spaghetti dinner and program sponsors.

“We exist for a number of reasons, but one is to entertain people in a wholesome way,” Vance said. “Lots of people love it (band music) and it’s intergenerational. A lot of people play sports (in school), but the reality is 20 years from now you are less likely to still be playing them. You can play an instrument your whole life though. It’s a lifelong pursuit. We have a 91-year-old and kids who are in high school.”

The community band was founded by Jack Beatty in the 1920s and it flourished until World War II. In 1965, Richard “Dick” McCluggage was persuaded to organize and direct the band and concerts started in 1966. He was the director for 15 years and five others have followed including current director Christie Cochran.

Practices are held at 7 p.m. in the band room at Coshocton High School, which has been very supportive of the program.

“Band Director Barry Hardesty has let us use some of their equipment and their equipment truck,” Vance said. “That is a big help to us. Bill Appis has given us room to store things before and ITM also has let us use a room.”

While they have a roster of 50 to 60 musicians, Vane is trying to recruit younger players by visiting local high schools.

“I tell the high school kids we don’t have auditions,” he said. “If you play better than the people around you then you can provide leadership and set a good example. If you aren’t at their levels then they will help you. If you surround yourself with people that are disciplined and love what they do you are going to improve yourself. It’s a great time to learn a secondary instrument too because you aren’t being judged or going to contests.”

Players of all levels and ages are welcome, regardless of availability.

“We have people who have played professionally, people who have been in a lot of bands, and others with more modest abilities,” Vance said. “We will find a role for you. Christie is very good at working with all of us.”

Coshocton County Community Band Concert Schedule

Date                Performers                              Theme

May 24            Community Band                    Overtures

May 31            Lake Park Big Band                 Sounds of the Big Band Era

June 7              Community Band                    Marches from the Gazebo

June 14            Community Band                    Old Movies & Musicals

June 21            Walhonding Rube Band          100 Years of Musical Entertainment

June 28            Community Band                    Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Concert

July 5               Community Band                    Bright Lights / Big City

July 12             Community Band                    Band Favorites

July 19             Community Band                    The Wild, Wild West

July 26             Main Street Brass TubaFours Brass Ensemble Favorites

Aug. 2              Community Band                    Lollapalooza

Editor’s note: All concerts start at 7 p.m. and are held at the court square on Main Street. Rain location is The Salvation Army.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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