Charleston Community Band kicks off season

The+Charleston+Community+Band+plays+%E2%80%9CDancing+Queen%E2%80%9D+by+Abba+Thursday+in+Kiwanis+Park.+This+group+consisted+of+71+local+instrumentalists+with+ages+ranging+from+13+to+90.
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Charleston Community Band kicks off season

The Charleston Community Band plays “Dancing Queen” by Abba Thursday in Kiwanis Park. This group consisted of 71 local instrumentalists with ages ranging from 13 to 90.

The Charleston Community Band plays “Dancing Queen” by Abba Thursday in Kiwanis Park. This group consisted of 71 local instrumentalists with ages ranging from 13 to 90.

Molly Dotson

The Charleston Community Band plays “Dancing Queen” by Abba Thursday in Kiwanis Park. This group consisted of 71 local instrumentalists with ages ranging from 13 to 90.

Molly Dotson

Molly Dotson

The Charleston Community Band plays “Dancing Queen” by Abba Thursday in Kiwanis Park. This group consisted of 71 local instrumentalists with ages ranging from 13 to 90.

Molly Dotson, Staff Reporter

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Show tunes, marches and other types of musical selections filled the air of Kiwanis Park Thursday evening as the Charleston Community Band kicked off its 2016 season.

A total of 279 people came out, which included 71 performers between the ages of 13 and 90 as well as 208 audience members.

Band Director Ginger Stanfield said this was a “nice crowd” for their first performance.

Alto saxophonist Megan Kidwell, a 19-year-old Charleston resident, is one of the band members.

The Charleston Community band plays the theme from “Jack,” which is an old TV show, Thursday during their opening concert at Kiwanis Park. The band will continue to hold concerts at 7:30 for the next five Thursdays.

Molly Dotson
The Charleston Community band plays the theme from “Jack,” which is an old TV show, Thursday during their opening concert at Kiwanis Park. The band will continue to hold concerts at 7:30 for the next five Thursdays.

She said she has been participating every year since the summer after eighth grade. Kidwell said her involvement is largely driven by her passion for music.

“I love music, so this is fun for me, and you get to see everyone else having fun too,” Kidwell said.

This is Kidwell’s first year out of high school, so community band allows her to practice and further her musical career.

“It’s a wonderful way to continue playing music now that I’m not in high school band anymore,” Kidwell said. “It’s just a wonderful way to participate and give to the community.”

Tenor Saxophonist Tony Melton, a 46-year-old Ashmore resident who has been involved in the group for almost 35 years, said he participates for the similar reasons as Kidwell.

Melton also said his kids and nieces enjoy watching and listening to the band play.

His daughter Cassy recently started playing French horn in her grade school and is considering participating in the community band as well.

Ginger Stanfield, the director of the Charleston Community Band, introduces the next selection Thursday during the band’s concert at Kiwanis Park. Stanfield started participating in this musical group in 1979, two years after it was started.

Molly Dotson
Ginger Stanfield, the director of the Charleston Community Band, introduces the next selection Thursday during the band’s concert at Kiwanis Park. Stanfield started participating in this musical group in 1979, two years after it was started.

The band will continue to hold concerts at 7:30 p.m. in Kiwanis Park (or the Concert Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center in the event of rain) for the next five Thursdays.

Stanfield said she will continue to select show tunes and marches in addition to patriotic and sacred songs as she did for this last performance.

She said the pieces she chooses depend on the instrumentation of each week, but she tries to please as many of the audience and band members as possible.

The concert held on the last Thursday of June will consist of solely patriotic selections in honor of Independence Day.

 

Molly Dotson can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]