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Lee County Community Band to open season with veterans salute

By Staff | Nov 7, 2019

The Lee County Community Band is set to kick off its 134th season with a special veterans tribute at Cape Coral High School.

The first concert of the season, “Strike Up the Band!,” will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in the Cape Coral High School auditorium.

Lee County Community Band Board of Director President and percussionist John Fenn said the band has been in business for 134 years and currently has 50 members who reside in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. When the “snowbirds” come down for the season, membership grows to the low 70s.

“We have six concerts per year,” Fenn said, which are “normally the second Sunday of each month beginning in November through April. We play a variety of music from marches, Big Band, Dixieland, waltz and Irish tunes.”

“They are free. There are no seating assignments. Come and enjoy the concerts,” Fenn said.

Director Richard Bradstreet has selected spirited and patriotic music by American composers for a tribute to U.S. military veterans.

Some of the energetic marches include “The Thunderer,” “Fiddle-Faddle” and Gershwin classics, Vaudeville spectacular and “The Homefront: Musical Memories from World War II.”

In addition, the band will present “The Light Eternal,” which is a powerful work that recounts the story of four U.S. Army chaplains who sacrificed their lives during World War II.

“The concert lasts approximately an hour,” Fenn said. “We have a sing along, something for everyone to enjoy.”

The community is invited to attend and donations are welcome.

Fenn said he enjoys playing the music, as well as the camaraderie with the band members.

“The band is becoming very professional. Some very good members. Some are professional musicians, former music teachers, used to play and want to start playing again,” Fenn said, adding that members join to freshen up their abilities and enjoy the music.

Additional concert dates include Sunday, Dec. 8, Sunday, Jan. 12, Sunday, Feb. 9, Sunday, March 8 and Sunday, April 19. These concerts also will take place at Cape Coral High School at 3 p.m.

Cape Coral High School is at 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd.