Summer 2020 Season? Notes from the Director

Greetings to band members and fans who subscribe to our automatic emails!

Like everything else, the COVID19 shutdown and quarantine has affected our summer season in a negative way. However, I’m still optimistic that we will have at least a partial concert season. I’ve put off posting or emailing until I knew more but it’s not clear when that is going to be, either.

Here’s what I do know.

Memorial Day
Obviously, the Memorial Day ceremonies fall under the governor’s order and will not take place.

Mt. Olive Series
I also can now say that our June concerts at Mt. Olive are canceled for this season. However, John is in talks with Mt. Olive to possibly get at least a couple of concerts rescheduled. Whether those will happen in July or August, I do not yet know. There are other possibilities in Mt. Olive that we may be able to merge a concert into but nothing is sure at this point. Bottom line for Mt. Olive: No June concerts but we don’t know anything yet beyond that. However, I remain optimistic that we can salvage a concert or two of our Mt. Olive series.

Black Diamond Days
The Black Diamond Days festival is itself canceled for 2020.

Here lies a ray of hope. Thus far, we are not canceled in July to the best of my knowledge. I am very optimistic that we can do our concerts there. Whether it will be a full four concerts, I do not know yet as the bank has changed hands. We’ll have to see if the Children’s Concert will still run. If we are able to have a Staunton season, we’ll determine and communicate rehearsal details at a later date. It’s not farfetched that we might have to have outdoor rehearsals; time will tell. We’ll communicate as much in advance as possible. Please do your part to notify band member friends of this and future posts. I will assemble a couple of concert folders in advance just in case we get the go ahead.

Rehearsals and Possible Alternate Events–Information for Band Members
I aim to salvage whatever portion of this season that I can, even using creative solutions. The best ways you can help right now are: 1) Please check back here. If you’ve lost my email address, you can contact me through the contact link on this site. I don’t check that email every single day, though, so please don’t be worried if I don’t reply immediately. 2) Be sure and keep your AFM membership current. You should have received a mailing from Scott Fisher. That way, everyone is ready to go and in both the Band and the Local 88 communication loops if we’re able to start rehearsing. It would be great if you could contact me and let me know you are aware of this post and plan to participate in the band this summer if we are given the green light! Here’s hoping!!

Exciting Concert This Thursday, July 18!

For this week’s concert, we are bringing back guest star TC Chandler, keyboardist for The Temptations. People who watched TC and his trio perform with the band back in 2017 recall a rocking and jazzy concert that included an impromptu jam session afterward that had audience members dancing. Come and see TC’s jazz and rock keyboard skills and hear great music. Something like TC doesn’t perform in Staunton every day, so don’t miss it! Laugh at the heat and bring some cool beverages and enjoy the concert!

Thursday, July 18 2019 7:30 PM at the newly renovated bandstand behind the Staunton City Hall and Library.

2019 Performance Calendar

2019 Performance Calendar!!!

Memorial Day – See previous post below for cities and times
June 6, Mt. Olive City Park Bandstand 7:00 pm

June 9, Black Diamond Days 1:00 pm by City Hall, Gillespie, IL

June 13, Mt. Olive City Park Bandstand 7:00 pm
June 20, Mt. Olive City Park Bandstand 7:00 pm
June 27, Mt. Olive City Park Bandstand 7:00 pm

July 11 – Staunton City Hall Bandstand  7:30 pm
July 18 – Staunton City Hall Bandstand  7:30 pm
—-Return of Popular Guest Performer  T.C. Chandler, keyboardist with The Temptations
July 25 – Staunton City Hall Bandstand  7:30 pm
— Annual Children and Family Concert Sponsored by First National Bank of Staunton
August 1 – Staunton City Hall Bandstand  7:30 pm


Memorial Day Band Schedule

The Band will play three Memorial Day Ceremonies:

9:00 am Gillespie Cemetery

Band Members please be there by 8:40 am at the latest. The downbeat is at 9:00 am. You are exposed to the sun in this location, so please be sure to wear sunscreen. You need to bring a folding chair (not a lawn chair) and a music stand. The younger members of the band will walk over to the Catholic Cemetery following the first ceremony for a short playing of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful (form the little spiral bound booklet). Immediately following that, head to Staunton for the next ceremony. There is a 40% chance of rain forecast. They may affect our performance.

11:00 am Staunton City Hall on Main St.

Band members see above. Downbeat is at 11:00 sharp. You will not be quite as exposed to the sun in this location but you should have bottle water. You may wear caps as long as they are not distracting ones, preferably red or white. Following this performance, there may be an opportunity to eat hot dogs at the VFW before heading to Benld.

1:00 pm Benld Cemetery

Same notes as above. Downbeat is at 1:00 pm. This location is very exposed to the sun and with the late rains, the ground may be quite wet in places. We will try to set up in a stable zone.

First 2019 Band Practice Next Week

Notice to Band Members

We will have our first rehearsal of the season on Wed. May 8, 7:00 PM at our Mt Olive practice location. We are going to try having the Mt. Olive space as our permanent practice location this year. Why? The Benld location has limited parking and it is very difficult to enter and exit through the high step with a heavy door and acoustics are not great. The round church is way too loud and live and that creates a number of rehearsal and playing issues for the band and the director and it is very hard on hearing health in my opinion. Mt. Olive is still a central location, has the best lighting, the best temperature environment, the driest sound and it is very easy to enter and exit the building.

See you next week. Share this message with your fellow members.

Concert Thursday, July 19

Come see our concert in Staunton this Thursday evening, 7/19 at the bandstand behind Staunton Library. Please remind your friends and set a reminder for yourself so you don’t remember too late! See you there at 7:30pm!