Conductor Larry Huntington leads the Troy Heritage Concert Band.

Conductor Larry Huntington leads the Troy Heritage Concert Band.

File photo by Brandy Baker


Troy Heritage Band is ready to bring some music back to the community

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published September 9, 2021

 The Troy Heritage Concert Band is back after several months of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is preparing to play in the community once again.

The Troy Heritage Concert Band is back after several months of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is preparing to play in the community once again.

File photo by Brandy Baker

 Anyone in the metro Detroit area is welcome to join the Troy Heritage Concert Band. They just need to bring their own instrument and a will to play.

Anyone in the metro Detroit area is welcome to join the Troy Heritage Concert Band. They just need to bring their own instrument and a will to play.

File photo by Brandy Baker

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TROY — The Heritage Concert Band of Troy is back and looking for musicians after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The band is made up of local residents who provide their own instruments and play for the joy of playing. They regularly take part in community events and celebrations.

“We have specific events for the city of Troy in front of Troy City Hall for Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” said band member Dave Meinhard. “Usually, we have a concert in the summer that is connected with an ice cream social for senior citizens. Then we also have a spring and holiday concert, and we also perform at some local churches and senior citizen homes.”

Band President Bob Rourke said the band members are excited to be back playing together after having to spend so much time apart.

“We haven’t been able to play much during the last year because of COVID,” he said. “We’re trying to get our band members back together and send out our music. We’ve had to practice on our own in that time. I know some bands have been practicing outdoors spaced apart. … We’re anxious to be back playing again.”

The band has a long history of playing in the metro Detroit area.

“I’ve been with them for about 10 years, and it’s been in existence for over 50 years,” explained Meinhard. “At one point it was based out of Hamtramck. It’s been around quite a while, and we have approximately 40 members. Most of us are seniors. Before COVID shut us down, we had one young lady who was playing with us as she was being homeschooled, and we have some college-age musicians as well.”

The band is led by conductor Larry Huntington.

“He is well known as a trombonist and he conducts three different bands that I know of,” Meinhard said. “He makes being in the band fun while making us do our best musically.”

The band is funded solely through donations.

“When we perform, we put out an old tuba that people can put donations in,” said Meinhard. “Sometimes there’s a fee to do performances, since the conductor gets a small stipend and we need some money for purchasing new music and so forth. The city will be charging us for the use of the Community Center at $10 a person. … The musicians do provide their own instruments, though, so that’s not something we have to raise money for.”

With more people vaccinated, Rourke said the band is now back to playing and is looking for new members to join them.

“We’re back playing and rehearsing. We get a lot of people who didn’t know about us and they just stop by because they used to play clarinet or something and they join in,” he said. “We’re there twice a month on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. People are welcome to come — no children, but teenagers are welcome. Some of us play in other bands around the area. This is just a fun band for people who want to have fun playing.”

Meinhard added that the need for new members is somewhat tragic.

“We have lost some people from COVID, and a few have passed away,” he said.

However, they are hoping the silver lining will be that others in the community will be inspired to take up an old instrument and try their hand at playing once again.

“It’s such a fun group, so the more musicians the better the sound will be. Anybody that plays an instrument that is normally found in a concert band is welcome to come give it a try. We’re especially looking for percussionists. They are always in high demand. We have a set of drums, so anyone who has some sticks and a music stand can just drop by. There’s no auditions; anyone can just stop by.”

To contact the band or inquire about joining, email davemeinhard@sbcglobal.net. He noted that people also are welcome to show up at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Road, on Sept. 15 for their first practice to check them out.

“Everybody is welcome,” Menhard remarked. “We have people from as far as Romeo, Berkley and Grosse Pointe who are members. Come see what we’re all about, and we’ll make a spot for you. Maybe you haven’t played in years, so this is a great chance to dust off that old instrument and get back into it.”

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