The Newton Municipal Band is composed of high school and adult musicians from throughout Jasper County. Several years ago, the band was faced with the possibility of going out of existence. A few members undertook the task of saving the group, both for the enjoyment of its members, and for the enjoyment of the public. It turned out to be quite a learning experience for those band members, who became the Newton Municipal Band Board. It was especially a learning experience for me.
Although I had played in the band for years, I had no idea of all that went into preparing and presenting a concert. On behalf of the board, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all who have played a part in keeping the band going, and for making our recent summer concert series a success.
First, thanks go to our director, Dan Stecker. Dan drove from his home in Pleasantville for each rehearsal and performance, and for multiple planning sessions. Thanks go to Newton Senior High School, which allows us to use their sound equipment, their percussion instruments and other necessities. The high school also allows us to use the high school band room for our rehearsals. Many thanks to Deb Stoulil and her husband, Larry, and son, Austin. Deb serves as the band librarian. She sees that all folders are filled each week with the correct music. She, Larry and Austin move all our equipment from the band room to the park and back for each concert.
They also set up all the chairs, and the sound equipment. We are very grateful to Charles Clements of Tap Music Sales, who takes care of all financial arrangements necessary for our band. Thanks to Nathan Unsworth of the Newton Parks Department for helping us to set the schedule for the concerts, and for the use of Maytag Bowl. We couldn’t ask for a better venue. Nathan also sees to it that the American flags are in place on the bowl for each concert.
Our master of xeremonies, Fred Chabot, is much appreciated. He attends rehearsals and researches each piece of music to help the audience better understand the selections that the band plays. Thanks, Fred. We are also so appreciative of those who helped with publicity so we could spread the word about each concert: Newton Daily News, KCOB Radio, and Linda Bacon of Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau. Special thanks go to Scott Creech of Domino’s Pizza. Scott donated pizza and ice cream to all the elementary students who participated in our first concert. He also brought his “Pizza Wagon” to each concert, to help draw a good crowd. Not only do we appreciate him, but our patrons do, also. Heartfelt thanks go to each member of the band. We certainly would not have a band without you.
Ages range from 14 to somewhere around 80. Members give their time and talent to make each concert a success. High school students are especially appreciated because they round out our sections, helping to make sure we have enough players to cover each part. Finally, and most importantly, thanks to our audience. Our concerts would be nothing without you. Thanks so much for coming to the park on Thursday evenings to listen to our music. We love to play, and we are so glad you are there to enjoy it.
The board will continue to work behind the scenes throughout the next several months in order to bring a new concert series to the bowl next summer. If you wanted to play this summer, and didn’t, it’s not too early to get your name on the list for next year. Look for us to be back in the bowl in June. In the meantime, keep a song in your heart.