ARLINGTON – While roadie-ing days are behind her with two high school percussionists off in college, Kristi Neeleman is still a band mom devoted to helping organize the Arlington Community Marching Band.
While it may be the 11th hour now, the band is looking to beef up its ranks and is inviting new members before it marches in the Arlington Grand Parade Thursday, July 4.
If you play in a school band or did at some point in life, took music lessons or are a self-taught musician familiar with sheet music, Neeleman wants to hear from you.
Neeleman said the nonprofit band, which formed in 2011, was at risk of folding in recent years. Numbers were down.
“There was talk that the band might break up, but graduating high school kids insisted the show must go on, and what it needed was a band mom to step up and take the lead,” Neeleman said.
As a former AHS band, drama, choir and HiQ mom – and other duties as needed – she stepped in.
“I took it on because the band is an Arlington tradition,” Neeleman said. “People like having a band in the 4th of July Parade. Now we’re down to a good rhythm, but the more musicians you have, the greater the sound.”
The good news is that it’s a relatively short parade, so a few group practices in the music room at the high school, a willingness to practice marching, and four Souza-style patriotic songs including The Star Spangled Banner are about all you need to know.
In a down year, the band may have 20 members, but last year there was more than 50. Participation ages range from fifth-graders up to a 75-year-old trumpeteer, Neeleman said. It helps that the line benefits from having great high school drum majors.
Free T-shirt- fully funded through Chamber
For more details and to register, visit the Arlington Community Band Facebook, email Neeleman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-618-3888. She needs to know what instruments you play, when or not you have your own, T-shirt size (free, and funded by the Stilly Valley Chamber) and sheet music reading level.
There is no registration fee to join.