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Ferndale band to play wide range of music at May concert

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 20, 2016

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale Community Concert Band will be hosting a free concert for the public at Ferndale High School in late May.

The band, comprised of players as young as 14 years old to some members in their 80s, will play beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, in the school’s auditorium.

Formed almost a year ago in May 2015, Director of Development Sharon Chess said there are about 55 steady members of the band who rehearse together on Tuesday evenings, with concerts scheduled every couple of months. The band plays brass, percussion and woodwind instruments.

“I have a passion for music,” Chess said as to why she helped form the band. “Our community has a desire for it.

“Our community is filled with artists and talented and gifted people throughout the community. And that’s why we were so successful at getting these talented musicians.”

Chess said she was surprised by the quality of the music that came during the first rehearsals from these musicians, as many of them had never played together.

“The quality of the music that came just when they were running through scales; to see what the proficiency was exploded my heart,” she said. “All of us were elated at what we had just experienced, and it has just been continually growing from there.”

The band is conducted by Ed Quick, who’s been teaching music for the past 30 years. For this upcoming concert, he said the band has been rehearsing pieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Philip Sousa to Broadway music, such as “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music.”

Quick said that though there are some varying gaps in the age groups of the members of the band, there isn’t a big difference when it comes to conducting the group as a whole, other than picking music that’s appropriate for the younger players.

“You don’t really change your level of expectations,” he said. “You always want it to sound good. So you need to choose music that your particular group can play effectively.

“With adults, you don’t have to be on them as much about sitting still in rehearsal. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same animal.”

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