This must be the place. It had that old, slightly-Gothic-but-well-kept look to it.
I pulled my cornet case from the rear seat while Hubby picked up his drum sticks and our music stands.
We slowly walked toward the church then hesitated. Which entrance should we use? Several sets of double red doors ran along its front and side. Just then, one door opened and a young man walked out. We headed in that direction.
Once inside, a lady directed us to the back of the church and up a narrow set of steps. There, along with about twenty other musicians, we squeezed into balcony pews that overlooked the sanctuary.
No, this was not a church service but a life celebration of a man who had recently passed away, a gentleman we had never met. Nor did we know any of his family.
We learned that throughout his life the man had enjoyed music and filled his home with it. The family wanted this celebration to reflect that love.
In a last-minute request, they asked local community bands if any members would be available to play a few songs at the service.
Yes, some of us could come.
Another time, our community band traveled to the home of a terminally ill man who had been a part of the band many years before.
The gentleman’s daughter had asked us to come. She recorded the music as the band played song after song while gathered on the lawn.
Unable to come outside, he watched and listened from an open window, smiling. We later learned that he played the recorded music every day until he passed away later that week.
Music from community bands is heard at nursing homes, community events, holiday celebrations, and more.
These bands are much more than free concerts, they’re music with a heart.