The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 19, 2014

Dust off that tuba, the Danville Community Band needs you

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — If you played an instrument and it’s collecting dust in the attic, the Danville Community Band is looking for you.

The band needs more members, especially younger members.

“In the past, we had some high school students who played with us for the summer,” said Vivian Wolfe, band publicity chairwoman.

While all kinds of musicians are needed, they can especially use reed instrument players.

The band has an ambitious concert schedule. “In the summer, we play somewhere every week,” she said.

“We are looking for people who used to play in school and their instruments may be collecting dust in the attic. Maybe they’d like to get back into it,” said band president Gail Garman.

A member for about four years, Garman plays the bells.

The band has scheduled its spring concert for May 15. It also presents a Christmas concert each year. Their concerts are free with a freewill offering asked.

Members usually travel as far as Williamsport to present concerts. Other concerts take place in surrounding towns. The band also participates in parades including the Danville Halloween Parade and Iron Heritage Parade and Fourth of July Parade in Millville.

“We have a lot of fun. We enjoy playing instruments and go to practice every Thursday night. It’s a fun time. We enjoy doing what we do — it’s like a second family,” said Wolfe who has been a member since 1972 or 1973. A clarinet player, she said she is the original woman member of the band.

Jim Mann is an original member of the band, founded 45 years ago in 1969. He plays clarinet.

Members come from throughout the region, including Danville, Shickshinny, Berwick, Muncy, Milton, Sunbury and Catawissa.

Directed by John Collins III, they practice at 7 p.m. Thursdays in the Kirkbride Building on the Danville State Hospital grounds.

Interested people can just show up at practices. “If they are uncomfortable doing that, they can talk with our director, John Collins, or our president, Gail Garman,” Wolfe said.

While the band may have between 40 and 50 people on its roster, “some come sometimes and some come all the time. Some come here and there and we run into problems with instrumentation,” Wolfe said.

Other band officers include treasurer Sue Rohrbach, who plays bass drum and is a daughter of long-time baritone player Bill Rohrbach; secretary Laura Klina and vice president Tom Gegenheimer. Judy Stine, a former president, serves as concert coordinator.

The band was originally formed as The Danville Legion Post 40 Marching Band.

While there were few instruments available to the newly formed band, some members had their own but there was a need for brass horns and percussion instruments.  They were able to obtain instruments once owned by the sponsors of the defunct Danville Boys and Girls Band, the Danville Elks and Danville American Legion Post.

The band’s first appearance was in the Danville Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11, 1969. They presented a concert under the canopy of the former Capitol Theater before finishing the parade.  

While under its original name, The Danville Legion Band performed at many locations throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts.  Under the Dansbachers name, which it still uses, the band performed at Oktoberfests and German concerts in surrounding areas, Philadelphia, Reading, Easton and New York.

In 1999, the band’s executive board and members decided to change the band name to the Danville Community Band to help generate interest among musicians to join.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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