Hopefully, I will never be too old to find awe in the "Star Spangled Banner," the opening number of the Sumter Community Concert Band's Spring Concert, along with the presentation of colors by the …
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Hopefully, I will never be too old to find awe in the "Star Spangled Banner," the opening number of the Sumter Community Concert Band's Spring Concert, along with the presentation of colors by the Sumter High School JROTC. Equally as traditional was Director James "Jimmie" Mills' closing patriot tribute - this time "Let Freedom Ring" with selections like "Yankee Doodle," "America" and "Grand Old Flag" - presented with great enthusiasm.
We have all heard the expression "Let Your Light So Shine." The band did just that, with a few guest players and most of the 43 members on the roster plus Mills. The 10 selections covered everything from the patriotic to marches like Sousa's lively "King Cotton" and Leroy Anderson's "Ticonderoga March" - written in honor of the first American win against Britain in the Revolutionary War - to the fabulous genius of Ray Charles and his contribution to soul, rhythm, blues and gospel - a selection of nostalgic and captivating tunes like "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Georgia on My Mind." "Lola Flores," named after the Spanish star of dance and more than 33 movies, really did showcase the band's ability to add spice with drum roll, syncopated rhythms and the feel of the bombast and excitement of the bull fight.
Two selections featured saxophone players. Directed by Joni Mabry Brown, Scottish ballad "Perthshire Majesty," with its melodic opening, highlighted Bates Middle School Band Director Sean Hackett on soprano saxophone. "Noteworthy" (all puns intended) was Dr. Bob Lee's alto saxophone solo "Classical Rondo" with its echoing round like interplay of saxophone and band. The lilting melody featured endless phrases with fast-paced, take-a-quick-breath delivery.
"Themes Like Old Times," a tribute in memory of former member Jack Riley, paid homage to him and the early 1900s - "Swanee," "For Me and My Gal" and the rip-roaring "Tiger Rag/Hold That Tiger."
From start to finish, the concert served as a reminder of ways to give to the community - time, talent and (can you believe it!) FREE entertainment.
Sumter is very fortunate to have so many dedicated, skilled citizens willing to donate to the community. Mills made an appeal to community members to add their musicality to the band by joining and to remind everyone of the next performance on May 13 at 3 p.m. in Patriot Hall - just in time for Mother's Day.
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