By Pam Wright
Journalist of the Local Journalism Initiative
After two seasons cut short by the pandemic, the Chatham Concert Band is back and ready to entertain this summer.
Beginning June 29, the band will debut the first of 10 concerts at Tecumseh Park Band Shell, marking the band’s 95th year of musical creation.
According to President Mark Broadbent, new members have joined recently and “everyone is excited to be doing a full summer of gigs.
“There’s nothing quite like playing for an audience and it’s been way too long,” Broadbent said. “It’s a Chatham tradition and it’s nice to bring people downtown and give them something to do.”
Different themes will spice up the series, Broadbent explained, noting that pop, big band and songs from Disney movie scores and soundtracks are among the selections that will be performed this season.
The group, which practices year-round, is led by bandleader Vaughn Pugh, a position he has held for 38 seasons.
Another popular Chatham Concert Band program called Music Makers is also back.
Operating since 1960, the free program is open to children seven and older and adults, running to the group shell every Saturday morning.
No musical experience is necessary for the recorder and percussion lessons for beginners.
There is also an introduction to band instruments for those with some musical training and a junior band class for those with prior musical experience.
Broadbent said the Saturday program is a great opportunity for families to learn and have fun together.