The municipal band will achieve a major milestone this summer: 150 years of local musicians providing live entertainment.
A special concert to commemorate the anniversary will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27. The concert will feature a larger ensemble than usual with several notable alumni returning.
Director Tyler Morgan, who is actively seeking more musicians for the event, said that neither years away from the band nor lack of an instrument should be an impediment to participation. He encouraged musicians to contact him if they need to borrow an instrument.
“We’re trying to get a lot of people who have not been involved for many years back to celebrate the sesquicentennial,” Morgan said.
To make it easier for musicians to attend the anniversary concert, the rehearsal will be the night before, Wednesday, June 26, at 7 p.m. in the high school band room. An additional change is that the concert on Thursday, June 27, is at 7 p.m. with a social hour to follow, while the rest of the concerts are at 8 p.m.
“We encourage people of all ages to come and play, and one of the reasons we are doing the Wednesday night rehearsal is so that if people are traveling a distance, they would only have to stay one night,” Morgan said.
The anniversary concert will feature a commissioned piece by composer Rob Romeyn titled “The Swashbucklers,” a composition in the traditional march style that characterizes much of the band’s repertoire.
Morgan learned that a town band first started in Centerville in 1869 from historical research that he started in 2012 at the Appanoose County Historical and Coal Mining Museum. He recently published a book based on his research, The History of Bands of Centerville, Iowa.
“The band has always been made up of local musicians, most of whom did not play for a living,” Morgan said. “They were dentists and cigar store owners and doctors and lawyers. They were people who learned to play and continued to play. So the band continues to be made up of amateur musicians, and that is one of the great things about it.”
This year’s concert series begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30. Rehearsal for the first concert is Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. in the high school band room.
Any musician interested in playing for the anniversary concert or any part of the season can contact Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Facebook page for the Centerville Municipal Band.