Crossroads Bellevue recently reverberated with the sounds of trumpets, horns, flutes and clarinets as members of the Bellevue Community Band gave another of their popular concerts. The performance gave a sneak peak for the upcoming 46th Annual Spring Concert set at Newport High School Theater this Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The band will play an assortment of contemporary and classical music, concert marches, movie and broadway music, and fun novelty tunes. The concert is open to the public and admission is free.
The community band is a nonprofit organization that was organized in 1962. Now in its 46th year, the all-volunteer ensemble is still going strong with more than 70 members ranging from Bellevue Community College students to retirees. The members include homemakers, physicians, accountants, engineers, students and music teachers.
Although the band members come from various backgrounds they all share one thing in common: a talent and a love for playing music.
Band member Sandy Long plays the trumpet in the community band along with her husband, who plays the saxophone. The pair previously played together in a band in California and after relocating to this area, joined the BCB. It’s fun to be able to play music and get together with the same people and feel like your part of a group, Long said.
Over the years the BCB has represented Bellevue by performing at the Seattle Center, Bellevue Community College, Crossroads Bellevue mall, Redmond Town Center and Kirkland Marina Park. The band also has played in Portland for the Band Directors Convention, in Spokane at the World’s Fair and annually at the Spring Puyallup Fair.
According to Dick Olson, a BCB band member since 1965, one of the bands most important and rewarding services are the numerous performances played throughout the year at senior citizen facilities. Olson contacted more than 23 retirement homes and invited residents to attend the Annual Spring Concert this year.
Lew Green, a member of the BCB since 1963 has been playing music since the 4th grade and enjoys playing in the community band.
“It’s a challenge, but it keeps me active,” said the 77-year-old Green. “I’m retired and I don’t have a lot of things going on. It gets me up and it gets me out. The members are a relaxed group and it’s fun.”
The band is led by conductor Philip Donley and assistant conductor Dennis Bloomfield. This is Donley’s second year conducting for the BCB and he is also a music teacher at Liberty High School.
“With the high school kids it takes longer for them to learn the technical parts, but with the community band most of the members join with past experience so they learn quickly,” Donley explained.
The band practices once a week and performs a winter holiday concert, the spring concert and a summer concert series. After the the band finishes the spring concert, it will begin working on its summer concert series which usually begins with the annual 4th of July Celebration at Crossroads Bellevue and continues throughout the summer with other performances on the Eastside and in the Seattle area. The performances consist of mostly patriotic pieces, concert marches and a sprinkling of other standards from the concert band repertoire.
Lindsay Larin can be reached at email@example.com or 425-453-4602.
At Newport High School Theater, 4333 128th Ave. S.E., Sunday, April 20 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information contact Dick Olson at 425-747-3017 or visit www.bellevuecommunityband.org.