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The St. Marys Community Concert Band performed earlier this month at the Paden City Alumni Celebration. Their next performance will be July 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Marys High School auditorium. (Photo provided)

ST. MARYS – A community group of local musicians from all walks of life will perform a concert this month to benefit the St. Marys High School group.

Since 1999, the St. Marys Community Concert Band has performed throughout the Ohio Valley, and the next concert is scheduled for July 27 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Marys High School.

The group of approximately 75 members is a non-profit organization that performs throughout the year with musicians aged 16 to 85. Group secretary Chris Keeling said the group performed several concerts throughout the year.

“It’s a fairly active group” she said.

The St. Marys Marina is the venue for many of the concerts. Member Eric Croasmun said this was the band’s first time performing as a fundraiser for the school.

“We kind of wanted to do something different. I contacted the high school group boosters and the high school principal to see how to work together to do a fundraising concert, ” said Croasmoun. “We play in the beautiful auditorium of the school and the group will benefit financially. “

Broadway, concert marches, pop and country songs are part of the repertoire. Croasmun said the show will appeal to a large audience.

“Music connects us all over the world at different ages and different careers. It is a very unique group. he said. “We’re trying to do something specific to the community we’re playing in. We’re playing the song Alma Mater and St. Marys High School Fight.”

Keeling, who plays the baritone, said performing in front of an audience is an important part of being a musician, providing a way to connect with people through music.

“The fulfillment of playing an instrument is being able to play your best and present a performance that touches people” she said.

The group does not discriminate on the basis of age and does not require auditions. Keeling said it was a great opportunity for young musicians to develop their skills.

“(It’s) great because it gives them that confidence. You are supervised and this builds the confidence of these people. It gives them so much more experience and involvement ”, Keeling said.

Being able to make music with a diverse group of people is what gives Croasmun a passion for the group.

“What I love the most is playing with a lot of talented people from different parts of the Mid-Ohio Valley from different backgrounds and different age groups,” said Croasmoun.

The aim of the event is to bring in a wide range of age groups, enjoy music and recognize favorite songs.

“I just hope they can see the many talented people we have from all over the region and find several songs that they can enjoy. I am convinced that this will happen ”, said Croasmoun.

The concert will be held July 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Marys High School Auditorium. Admission is free but donations to the high school orchestra are encouraged.

Rocky Wiseman, Dave Burton and Wayne Smith will be the conductors.

For more information on group membership, contact the St. Marys Community Concert Band Facebook page.

Candice Black can be contacted at [email protected]

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