Wendy Byerly Wood Content Manager
November 20, 2013
RONDA — Practice has begun for area instrumental musicians, but it’s not too late for others interested in joining the Yadkin Valley Community Band for its new season of performances.
“The group was started four years ago by three or four local band directors who wanted an opportunity to play,” said band member Ralph Cooke, noting that Mike and Jennifer Weddington were two who partnered with other local musicians to form the group.
“From there, we spread the word to people who might be interested in playing,” Cooke said.
For the 2013-14 season, the band already has had a couple of practices, but he said those interested are still welcome to join the group, which meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at East Wilkes High School to practice in the band room.
“We do a fall concert and a spring concert each year, and this year my guess would be they will be in January and then in April or May,” said Cooke.
The community band is made up of “music professionals, old guys like me who at one time played, and some of the best high school players are playing with us, too,” according to Cooke. “It is a diverse mixture of people and a diverse mixture of pieces.”
He said about 35 to 45 musicians participate in the community band, and anyone who can play is welcome to join the band.
“The people that come will know real soon whether they can play the music or not,” Cooke said. “If they don’t feel comfortable, then they won’t come back, or if they struggle some but still want to play, they are welcome to stay on. We don’t kick anyone out.”
The concerts traditionally have been held in the East Wilkes auditorium, with the last concert held in the new Yadkin Arts Center in Yadkinville. They are free to attend.
“(Sheet music) is borrowed from local bands and music stores, and then individuals might buy some for the whole group,” Cooke said, noting that all genres of music are played.
This will be Ben Crotts’ first year directing the Yadkin Valley Community Band. Crotts serves as the band director at Starmount High School.
The nonprofit band includes a coverage area of Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin, Alleghany and Ashe counties.
Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at email@example.com or at 835-1513.