Clearfield Community Band mixing things up for public concert

Sep 19 2012 - 4:42pm

Images

(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner) 
Eric Swenson holds his daughter Camille as he plays at a recent Clearfield Community Band practice. Band members balance their love of music with family and job responsibllities.
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner) 
Gretchen Myers conducts members of the community band during a recent practice .
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Above, Cheri Gatrell, a Layton violinist, concentrates on the music during a recent Clearfield band practice. Stringed instruments are a new addition to the band.
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Sharla Carlson, from Clearfiled, plays her flute at a recent band practice.
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner) 
Eric Swenson holds his daughter Camille as he plays at a recent Clearfield Community Band practice. Band members balance their love of music with family and job responsibllities.
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner) 
Gretchen Myers conducts members of the community band during a recent practice .
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Above, Cheri Gatrell, a Layton violinist, concentrates on the music during a recent Clearfield band practice. Stringed instruments are a new addition to the band.
(DENNIS MONTGOMERY/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Sharla Carlson, from Clearfiled, plays her flute at a recent band practice.

CLEARFIELD -- The sounds of the wind instruments is being married to the music of stringed instruments as the community band focuses on recreating the music of the "Messiah."

The Clearfield Community Band, which is in its seventh year, is planning to perform selections from Handel's "Messiah" for its public December concert. To accomplish this, the band of more than 30 members, has opened its ranks to stringed players.

Director Gretchen Myers said she wanted to try something new for the members to experience and showcase.

"We were looking for something different," Myers said. "We wanted a new challenge because we had done the same format for a number of years."

Five violin players recently joined the primarily-wind based group for its first rehearsal. Myers hopes that more people will come, as the practices continue every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 140 E. Center St.

She said that anyone can drop in each week for the chance to play and learn. She said they have students who play, as well as adults.

"It gives people a chance to play," she said. "There are many people who were so involved in music in their school years, but they had to move away from it. This provides a way people can get involved again in their adult lives."

Mike Handy, a Clearfield resident who plays the trombone, said he played for 20-plus years, starting when he was just 11. He has been playing with the community band for six years now, and he has enjoyed it.

"I like having somewhere to play," he said. "Too many people have their instruments rusting in the attic.

"This is a way to have a laid back, not high-stress way to play quality music," Handy said.

Handy's wife, Charity, also plays in the band. She has played a number of instruments, including the clarinet and saxophone.

"It's a wonderful experience," Charity said, noting the best part is playing for such festivities as the Fourth of July celebration.

Myers said that adding the strings will add even more to the experience. She plans to pair the strings with other instruments to help balance the sound. She added that some of the wind instruments will need to play softer so it does not overpower the new sound.

"It will be different," Myers said.

Mike Handy agreed, but thinks it will work well.

"It's a different sort of sound combining wind and string instruments," he said. "I think it will sound really well when it is all done."

Anyone interested in the band can join. Myers said it is open to people of all ages and abilities.

For more information call Myers at 801-807-8648 or visit www.clearfieldcity.org.

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