by LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

The Shinnston Community Band, under the direction of Mike Cale, had membership that numbered more than 80 during its winter season.  Although some members may have vacations scheduled, they are still expecting participation from approximately 70 or more members on July 1st.  It will be a family-oriented evening that you won’t want to miss!

July 4th is a popular holiday for gatherings and picnics with family and friends.

If you are among those preparing for such an activity, you may get caught up in all the prep work as the holiday approaches, but the Shinnston Community Band’s ‘Concert in the Park’ will be held on Sunday evening, July 1st, so the City is hopeful that many of its residents along with visitors from other nearby communities will attend this early celebration at Ferguson Memorial Park this Sunday.

Richard Herndon, president of the Shinnston Community Band (SCB), says that members have been faithfully practicing weekly for the past ten weeks for this performance.

“We are very fortunate to have so many dedicated members – all volunteers from all walks of life.  We have blue-collar workers; we have professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses and attorneys; and we have some very talented students as well,” Herndon stated.  “It is safe to say that our members ‘pay to play’ with us.  None of our members or our officers get a thing for participating; they just love music and enjoy being involved with other musicians who feel the same way.  They maintain their instruments at their own expense, and they pay for their own gas to drive back and forth to rehearsals and to performances … and many of them drive quite a distance, for example, from Monongalia, Tucker, Upshur and Barbour counties.  Add to that their sacrifice of time, and that certainly substantiates their dedication to our orchestra.”

This will be the 23rd consecutive year that SCB has offered an Independence Day concert.  The band will be set up in Ferguson Park’s performance center and will begin playing at 8 p.m. Sunday evening.   Attendees can expect to hear many patriotic numbers and even some classical pieces.  And Herndon reports that this year SCB will also offer a tribute to Frank Sinatra, one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century!   Many of the Sinatra tunes will be familiar ones and may spark a sing-along!

“As always,” Herndon added, “our concert will begin with the Star-Spangled Banner and conclude with Stars & Stripes Forever.”

And, yes, attendees will get to enjoy a dazzling display of fireworks at the end of the evening.

This concert always draws a tremendous crowd to the community, so attendees are encouraged to come early and feel free to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating in the lawn area.

The talents of the Shinnston Community Band are hailed in other locales as well.  Thanks to drawing such enthusiastic crowds each year, SCB has been engaged to perform for the third consecutive year at Palatine Park in Fairmont where their concert will be held on the afternoon of July 4th.

Because it is a strictly non-profit organization, the band appreciates donations and sponsorships to help them meet general expenses.  Making a contribution is a wonderful way to locally support the arts in the local area!