It’s time to strike up Community Band

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Southeast Alabama Community Band is in rehearsals for its 15th concert season. The band was organized in 2000 by Dr. John M. Long, who was its director for 12 years before retiring. The idea for the band originated with Tim and Theresa Sims both music graduates of Troy University.

James Smith, former assistant conductor of the Troy University band and the Southeast Alabama Community Band during Dr. Long’s tenure is the present leader. Smith has more than 40 years experience in conducting high school, college and professional bands.

The community band is composed of more than 50 members. They represent many universities and colleges including Troy University, the University of Alabama, Jacksonville State, Belmon College, Florida State, University of Southern Mississippi, and University of Michigan.

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The Southeast Alabama Community Band has performed in Troy, Elba, Montgomery, Dothan, Monroeville, Tallassee, Prattville and Wetumpka.

The concerts are sponsored by local arts councils, churches and civic organizations. The band plays a variety of music consisting of traditional overtures, Broadway show tunes, marches and other selections featuring instrumentalists and vocal soloists.

The band members represent many professions including band directors, school administrators, businessmen and women, university professors, a Sports Hall of Fame announcer, a minister and law enforcement officers. The military is represented with former members of the Army, Navy, Marines and the Air Force, including two full-retired colonels.

Assistant conductor, Ray Smith, is featured soloist at each concert. Dr. Peter Howard serves as general manager and librarian for the band. Ann Williams serves as chairman of the board of directors.

This band would not be possible without the support of Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University. The community band appreciates his great interest in music and all the fine arts.

The band had national exposure on CBS News with Scott Pellet and the Good Morning America show with two Sunday viewings. David Hartman, CBS reporter, visited Troy in 2012 and visited the band rehearsal, interviewed members and met with Dr. Johnny Long in his home on two occasions for the filming of the segment.

Community band rehearsals are at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays in Long Hall on the campus of Troy University. The public is invited to attend and is always welcome.