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Oldest community band in Maryland: Rohrersville Band is 175 years old
Oldest community band in Maryland
Rohrersville Band is 175 years old
The oldest community band in Maryland in continuous service since its founding is having a birthday. The Rohrersville Cornet Band of Washington County (MD) will celebrate its 175th anniversary by presenting a special concert on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. in the Band Hall, Main Street, Rohrersville.
Holly Feather, band director, will share the podium with four other directors as the band performs favorites from its large music library. It will also premier a composition that reviews musical styles popular over the band's existence. G. Washington McCoy founded the band in 1837 and called it McCoy's Cornet Band. The Band Hall, built in 1916, is on the site of the founder's business, McCoy and Sons' Marble Company.
The announcer for the concert is Ed Higinbotham. He is the band's drum major when it marches in parades. The concert is free and the public is welcome. Light refreshments will be served at intermission.
Richard Haynes, director emeritus, trumpet player, and the longest serving member of the band, will direct "Hymn of Brotherhood" adapted for concert band from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Haynes was band director for 44 years. As the band's historian he compiled a 288-page history And the Band Plays On. The book will be available ($20 donation) for purchase at the Oct. 21 concert.
Bob Sclater, immediate past associate director and lead alto saxophone, will conduct the march "Chimes of Liberty" by E.F. Goldman, arranged for band by Loras J. Schissel.
Brian Poffenberger, associate director and member of the brass section, will direct three movements from the concert standard "Second Suite in F Major" by Gustav Holst. Poffenberger's grandfather was a member of the tuba section. Such family connections in the band have been a feature since its founding. Recently a whole family-father, mother, son, and daughter-played in the band.
Anita Thomas, member of the trombone section, will direct her original composition "Captain McCoy's Legacy." She notes that the 10-minute piece was inspired by Richard Haynes' history of the band. The opening measures feature a real hammer and anvil in recognition of the founder, a marble carver. It showcases styles of music the band has played over the years, such as marches, waltzes, overtures, military sons, big band songs, and jazz. Several members of the band have solo passages, including trumpet, alto saxophone, baritone, trombone, and violin. Thomas dedicated the work to Bob Grubb, deceased member of the trombone section.
The band is scheduled to appear at the South Washington County Crop Walk, Keedysville, MD, on Sunday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m. It will march in the Martinsburg Holiday Parade, Martinsburg, WV, on Dec. 1, and in the Brunswick, MD, Veterans' Day Parade on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m.
The band accompanied Santa Claus when he comes to Boonsboro, MD, for the Old Fashioned Christmas on Friday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.
The band's holiday concert will be on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Band Hall, Rohrersville. All members of the band are volunteers.
Information about the band, an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation at www.angelfire.com/md/rohrersvilleband/ or by calling 301-992-9767 or 410-489-7336.
This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com
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