Thursday, July 03, 2008

Community Park Concerts

When I was sixteen years old Dad recommended that I join the American Federation of Musicians union so that I could work the Lexington park concerts and perform with professional musicians. The Lexington Concert Band would play at places such as Woodland Park, Jacobson Park, Southland Park, and Ecton Park during the summer. We also played on Independence Day each year at the downtown Lexington holiday festivities. Dad, Stanley Fizer, Joe Friedman, Richard Borchardt, and Pete Conley would take turns directing the band. More recently Kevin Dennison directed the group. Over the past four or five years the band has been directed by Shaun Owens.

Tuesday night the band played at Ecton Park for the annual Jazz & Big Band Series. Dad played trombone and I played clarinet. During the break Dad told me that he had played these concerts every summer since 1958. I have played the park concerts each summer since 1974.

These free concerts (funded by the American Federation of Musicians Trust Fund and local sponsors) are not only a good thing for the community, but also for the musicians. It is nice to see generations of families enjoying the concerts together. It is also great to hear Dad and some of the other veteran musicians reminisce about the history of the concerts and to catch up on current music happenings. Most of the musicians in this group also work in other professions as well. Making up the group are teachers, lawyers, business owners, college students, architects, engineers, and others.

Kevin Dennison & Clyde Fanuff Have A Laugh

Among the many fine musicians playing the concert last were Andrew McGrannahan, Drew McGrannahan, Angie Ortega, Big Bill McGinnis, Harold Sherman, David Webster, Ellis Harkleroad, Dwana Eberlein, Joel Lovan, Doyle "The Lip" Rambo, Dan Brock, and Ken Schubert. Tops In Lexington was there and put together a photo slide show of some of the audience and musicians.

I am certainly looking forward to playing our next gig. We will play patriotic songs at the Lexington Transit Center at 11:00 on Independence Day just before the big parade. Dad and I enjoy keeping that tradition.


At July 04, 2008 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article.


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