About 100 people turned out April 15 to hear some four dozen members of the band perform at the Treasure Island Community Center. The theme of the rousing program was music about different states in the union and ranged from Clifford Barnes’ “Hawaiian Holiday” to Hoagie Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind.”
The band, a community relations initiative of the city of South Pasadena, aims to give musically-inclined residents a chance to practice their music while providing quality entertainment for members of the public, said band conductor John Hoover. It has been in existence for more than 25 years. The youngest member is around 40; the oldest is 98.
“There’s a lot of grey heads in the band,” Hoover said. Most of the musicians have played one instrument or another all their lives; some are retired professional musicians. “There’s really a need for this type of ensemble for people to continue playing even if they’re up in age,” Hoover said.
Being in the band helps the musicians stay fit both mentally and physically, and gives them a sense of being part of something, he said.
The band practices once a week, nine months out of the year and performs publically six times between October and May.
Dennis Hughes is a retired FBI agent who lives in St. Petersburg. He is a fan of the band who records their performances so members of the public can have access to CDs.
“I think it’s a valuable community resource,” he said of the band. “I like music; the musicians are talented and they play my kind of music. It’s just one of the advantages of living in this community.”