[Sandy Bressner file photos - firstname.lastname@example.org]
[John Heath directs the Batavia Community Band at city hall May 1.]
BATAVIA – For a rousing coda to summer, the Batavia Community Band will perform its first full-length "Concert in the Park," highlighting the talents of its volunteer musicians at 3 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Riverwalk.
"I'm hoping to create a Sunday afternoon in the park band concert – the way band concerts were done in the 1900s, when many communities had their own town band," Director John Heath said.
The band was created to provide music for city observances, said co-founder and percussionist Linda Schielke at the start of the season. In 2013, she teamed up with Heath, then newly retired as Batavia High School band director, to strike up the band.
"We have such a great facility with the Peg Bond Center, but most of the time we play there is the tree lighting ceremony in November or early on New Year's Eve – it's a little cold," Heath said.
He's excited the band will have a full concert all its own. Between knowing what the band musicians enjoy playing and what audiences appreciate, he said he crafted a program drawn from multiple genres. He also picks works to expand the members' horizons musically.
Heath selected a program of marches, Broadway favorites, patriotic tunes and such classics as Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine."