The Batavia Community Band got its start in 2013 when former Batavia High School Band Director John Heath found himself fielding requests to form a music group that could play at City of Batavia functions. Now a group of dozens of musicians of all ages gathers to rehearse and prepare for performances.
The next scheduled date and kickoff to the summer season for the band is this weekend during the VFW Loyalty Day Community Picnic on Sunday, May 7 from 1:00-2:00 on the VFW grounds. In lieu of a parade, citizens are invited to gather at the VFW on Route 25 south of Batavia for a day of eats, games, great music and community celebration.
Linda Schielke is the coordinator for the Batavia Community Band. “We’ll be playing some patriotic tunes, movie music, some marches and other favorite kinds of band music,” she notes. “We have exceptional musicians in our group. Everyone is a volunteer. No one makes money from performing. But we all love what we’re doing. That’s really what this is about--people who love making music.” Typically about three dozen musicians join for each performance. “We’re looking for some sax players, French horns and a couple percussionists,” she notes. “And we welcome every musician who wants to play. Some hadn’t picked up an instrument in quite a while before joining the community band. But people catch on again quickly. We also have retired band directors who play with the group, and that helps create quite an environment of support.”
Schielke says the band gets requests to play at private functions, but the mission of the band and its main focus is Batavia community events. “Our six or seven dates per year are ideal,” she relates. Come fall the group even joins the Octoberfest fun on River Street. “We play polkas for that one,” she laughs. Other performances this year will include the Flag Day Ice Cream Social on June 11, 4th of July, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and the Celebration of Lights to kick off the holiday season the last Sunday night in November.
This fall the group will also host its first ever “standalone” concert. The Batavia Community Band will be hosting their first “Concert in the Park” on Sunday, September 17th, from 3:00-4:15pm on the Batavia Riverwalk. The band hopes this will be the first of many band concerts on Sunday afternoons in beautiful downtown Batavia. These concerts will consist of music from many different genres, and will be enjoyable for young and old alike. Bring a lawn chair, blanket or just sit on the grass for a quiet afternoon of beautiful music down by the river.
Donations to the Batavia Community Band are gladly accepted to help offset the cost of new music at any time during the year.
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