Community Band draws large crowd

Published 3:54 am Sunday, May 10, 2009

The City of Picayune and Pearl River County were honored on Sunday afternoon, May 3, with a professional performance by the Pearl River County Community Band under the direction of Johnny Baker. An exceptional crowd of approximately 600 people filled the Picayune High School Auditorium to welcome the addition of a community band to the area.

The concert began with the “Star Spangled Banner” arranged by Luigi Zaninelli of the University of Southern Mississippi. “The March of the Blazerteers” by Jim Andy Caudill was the next piece performed featuring Doug Pigott on the snare drum. Dr. Hal Mark Schrock, the president of the Community Band, made a presentation regarding the band with special recognition to Baker, the director. The next piece was directed by James Hallberg, entitled “Georgia on my Mind” with trumpet solo by Baker. It was truly a crowd favorite. “Hebrides Suite” by Clare Grundman was the next performance with soloists being Gene Cochran on the Trumpet, Vicki Raybon Moran on the piccolo, Nancy Hallberg Hayes on the Flute, and James Hallberg on the Clarinet, followed by “Chant and Jubilo” by W. Francis McBeth. “Lawrence Milk plays Guy Lombago” by Carroll de Camp and Jim Houston was the next performance featuring Stephanie Bailey on Piccolo, Cornelius Young on Tuba, and Victor Hobson, Cade Jarrell, David Malone, Ronnie Vaughn, and Daryl Wamsley on the saxophones. With bubbles coming from the background, the audience really enjoyed this piece of music. The final piece was the “Slavonic Folk Suite” by Alfred Reed featuring Gene Cochran as the soloist on the trumpet.

The Community Band was organized in October of 2008 with the first practice conducted in November and then the first concert in December, 2008 in Jack Read Park. It is currently the largest community band in the state of Mississippi, and is proud to note that there are former band members from Pearl River County, Bogalusa, Wiggins, Gulfport, Slidell, Diamondhead and other communities — ranging in age from 12 years to 72 years. All members practice on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship hall on a voluntary basis. Since the organization is a 501c3 organization, donations are being accepted to assist in purchasing large instruments and other equipment. Special recognition was given to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors for their financial donation, the Picayune School District administration and the school board for the use of the Auditorium and First United Methodist Church for the use of their facilities.

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All of those attending the concert were excited to be treated to this musical performance and said they look forward to more performances in the future.