Musical winds to blow through city park

The Corry Community Summer Band, under the direction of Ann Readshaw, will perform its annual concert today from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Corry City Park. The concert is sponsored by the Corry Arts Council, and is part of the Thursday in the Park summer concert series. Journal photo by Andy Kerstetter

Winds will pass through Corry City Park tonight.

But instead of humidity and rain, these winds will bring music.

The Corry Community Summer Band (CCSB) will present its annual summer concert in city park from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

“It is truly a joy to work with so many people who give of themselves, who take this musical risk in performing, for no other purpose than to give back to the community,” said Ann Readshaw, director of the CCSB.

The concert will cover a wide range of musical styles, including music from the opera Madama Butterfly, classical and contemporary music, and jazz tunes from Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

This is Readshaw’s second summer directing the annual community band. Previous directors included Kurt Varney, Eric Smrcka and Brian McCowin.

The CCSB has been a tradition in Corry for several decades, though its size and operation have varied from director to director.

This summer, the CCSB consists of more than 30 members from a wide range of local communities, including Corry, Wayne Township, Columbus, Spartansburg, Concord Township, Union City, Union Township, Edinboro and Warren.

The band members also cover a wide range of age and experience — from high-school band students to retired music teachers. The CCSB is open to anyone aged 14 and older who loves to participate in music.

Members also cover a wide array of instruments, including flutes, clarinets, saxophones, French horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, guitars, drums and keyboards.

“This is a true manifestation of lifelong learning,” Readshaw said.

The CCSB is also a good way for families to share their musical legacy with each other, Readshaw said.

Several families will play together on stage at the gazebo, some of whom have little experience with instrumental music, while others have more depth in the study of music.

However, the range of musical experience only enriches the overall experience of the group.

“Everyone involved in this concert has expressed a willingness to give back to the community to the best of their abilities,” Readshaw said.

Despite the long tradition and success of the group, Readshaw would still like to see it expand.

“We’d love to continue to increase our numbers, the range and scope of our community band,” she said. “There are a lot of musicians out there who might need just a little encouragement to get back into performing with this group.”

Readshaw and the musicians in the CCSB believe that participation in this group — and music in general — is beneficial for both the musicians and the audience.

“The relationship between the study of music and achievement in academic, employment, and social areas is irrefutable and overwhelmingly positive,” Readshaw said. “When community leaders make a public statement of support to the performing arts, they’re suggesting ways to better all the members of the community, strengthening individuals, families and society. Everyone benefits, either as a performer or as an involved audience member.”

Readshaw and the CCSB hope that people will be enriched by tonight’s performance.

“I hope our audience members congratulate themselves on being a part of such a multifaceted community,” Readshaw said.

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