Community Band blooms at the Buskirk

Bloomington Community Band kicks off summer concert series Tuesday with marches, big band arrangements


Scott Miller directs the Bloomington Community Band in Bloom concert celebrated 32 years of music making on Tuesday evening at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre. This was one of the fifteen planned concerts during the summer. Sara Singh Buy Photos

The BCB, an all-adult volunteer woodwind brass and percussion band, has been a community tradition for well over a century, roughly dating back to 1838.

The group has seen many changes over the years and even went through periods of hiatus, but Tuesday evening’s Gala Spring Concert marked the beginning of the 32nd season of the modern-day adaptation of the band, which was formed in 1978.

Comprised of 60 volunteer musicians ranging in age from 18 to 92 years old, this group has rehearsed once a week since January in preparation for the new season.

Tuesday’s performance featured a variety of standard concert fare, including traditional marches, big-band arrangements and concert pieces.

Clad in white and black, the BCB leapt into 13 pieces of all different lengths and genres after playing the Star Spangled Banner at the commencement of the program.

Highlights of the show included an angular march composed by David R. Holsinger titled “The Cluster, Fluster, Bluster March,” a two-piece suite of sea songs by Jan Van der Roost titled “Singapura Suite” and a jazzy swing written by Leroy Anderson titled “Swinging Yanks,” featuring a soulful trombone solo.

A piece written by Henry Mancini titled “The Pennywhistle,” featuring a piccolo solo by BCB member Julie Kraft, stirred one of loudest receptions of the night.

As symbols crashed, flutes fluttered and clarinets sang, conductor Tim Moore moved enthusiastically, conducting the band with fervor. Dancing and moving the baton subtly at times, frantically motioning his hands at others, Moore was all smiles for the beginning of his 30th year as a member of the BCB.

He said throughout the evening that performing at the Buskirk was a great luxury for the band, as it primarily performs in outdoor venues and will do so for the remainder of the 15-concert season.

Toward the end of the program, Moore asked the audience with a smile, “Do you think it is worthwhile for us to play indoors?” to which the audience applauded loudly.

“It’s been very satisfying for me to watch this group mature,” said Moore of the volunteer group that rehearses for two hours each Monday night at the St. Thomas Lutheran Church. “There are some very fine musicians in the band now, and they play very well.”

BCB assistant director and trombone player Joe Car took over the conducting reins for one song, and Martinsville High School Director of Bands Scott Miller conducted for two other songs as well.

The band drew the program to an end by celebrating its Indiana heritage with a C.W. Dalbey march titled “The Hoosier.” During the final moments of the piece, Moore turned joyfully to face the audience, leading them in unified clapping, pumping his fists to direct the beat of the drums behind him.

After a standing ovation from the crowd of all ages, family members of those in the band approached the stage and embraced their musicians warmly.

“It was a great opportunity for us to start off our season indoors,” said flutist Amy Makice while sitting next to her children after the performance. “All of my kids came, and friends, too. It was fabulous.”

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