- Ada, Oklahoma


June 29, 2014

Enjoy free music, ice cream and cookies today

Ada — Current and retired band directors along with amateur local musicians are gathering this afternoon to perform as Ada Community Band under the direction of Dr. Allen Correll, East Central University’s band director. Showtime is 3 p.m. at Hallie Brown Ford’s Ataloa Theater at ECU. The public is invited and admission is free.

The great thing about participating for amateurs like me is the opportunity to play on the same stage with professionals. The great thing about attending an Ada Community Band concert for people like you is that you don’t have to depend on amateurs like me to ensure your listening pleasure. There are enough great musicians in the house to carry those of us who would never seriously consider leaving our day jobs.  

As the participant signup sheet was passed around at a recent rehearsal I was struck by the diversity of occupations of the community band non-pros. If memory serves, there is an attorney, a school teacher, a realtor, two dentists, a medical doctor, some high school and college students, and one newspaper publisher which, of course, is me.

We often hear of football players tiring of playing their sport by the time high school graduation rolls around. At that point they’ve already racked up 8-10 years of playing time and are unwilling to put forth the effort required to compete. They’re ready for a different activity with which to get involved.

That’s pretty much my story except that it wasn’t football for me, but band. After high school it seemed to me time to hang up my horn even after being offered a scholarship to play at a university.

But there is a vast difference between football players and horn players. Football players grow fat and out of shape and in later years nearly cripple themselves pulling muscles trying to revive their former glory in sandlot pick-up games. Instrumental musicians grow fat and out of shape too, but the only muscle they have to worry about is their mouth, or more specifically, lips (“embouchure” for you purists).

In that way it’s a little bit like riding a bike. It may take some time to get to the point you can do it for an extended period of time again, but you really never forget how to do it. It’s just a matter of getting the ol' lips back in shape.

Consider this an invitation for those who may have played an instrument in high school in the glory days of yesteryear. No matter how long it’s been, if I can do it, you can too. Go to the attic, dust off that old clarinet and plan to join us next year in Ada’s Community Band.

Until then, if you’re not otherwise engaged, please join us at 3 p.m. today at East Central University’s Ataloa Theater. We think you’ll be glad you did.

Besides, Dr. Correll is offering free ice cream and cookies to all following the performance.

Contact Lone’ Beasley at

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