MAKING MUSIC — Lizzie Lee (left) and Ruth Oelrich play their clarinets Thursday during a performance with the newly-formed Martin Community Band.
By ALEX JACOBI
Special to The Press
MARTIN — The newly-formed Martin Community Band performed its first concert Thursday in the UC Ballroom at 7 p.m., giving audience members a taste of the South with the theme, “Southern Hospitality.”
Even though the ensemble, made up of both UT Martin students and faculty and community members, began this summer under the direction of UT Martin Director of Bands Dr. John Oelrich, the idea has been circling around for the past year.
“The concept had been discussed by others before my arrival to town. Seeing that there was not currently an ensemble here and meeting many interested musicians during the course of the year, I decided to get it started,” Oelrich said.
He felt this ensemble would be beneficial for many different people, serving the needs of musicians and bringing community members together.
“There was a need for musicians to play and events like this bring a community together and give residents a fun and free summer activity. It also brings the kind of charm that small towns are known for,” Oelrich said.
He also hoped to give many different types of musicians the chance to make music together.
“This ensemble’s membership will draw from adult community musicians, local band directors, college students (both music majors and non-majors), and local high school and middle school musicians. In addition to being a great opportunity for adult community musicians to play, it is a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to perform in an ensemble with more mature players, thus accelerating their development as musicians,” said Oelrich on the Martin Community Band website. For this first concert, Oelrich chose a Southern theme, hoping to appeal to the audience members in their cultural roots.
“This being the first concert of a new ensemble, I wanted the music to be attractive to a wide audience,” he said.
This is just one of many concerts that will take place this summer (June 13, June 27 and July 11), all with only two rehearsals before each show. Oelrich hopes to give audience members a taste of different types of music with each show.
“We will play almost all types of music. The basis will be music from the concert band repertoire, but the programs will feature marches, overtures, suites, Broadway medleys and folk songs. There will be something for every musical palate,” said Oelrich on the Martin Community Band website.
Even though the weather hindered where this concert could take place, he also plans to host the concerts downtown at Festival Park (near the fountain), benefiting the Main Street businesses.
“It is our hope that our downtown businesses will benefit from the audiences in attendance at the performances,” he said on the Martin Community Band website.
He is also still welcoming new musicians.
“If you are interested in playing in the Martin Community Band and missed the first concert, it’s not too late. Musicians are still welcome to join the ensemble,” Oelrich said.
In between the Community Band shows, Daniel Musgrave will be playing on Thursday and the House Band will be playing on June 20.
For more information on the Martin Community Band, visit www.utm.edu/departments/band/community_band.php.
(Published in The Press on 6.4.2013)