Community band creates harmony through diversity


CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — If you “strike up” this band, you’ll find dozens of people of all different ages.

It’s been around for 42 years, since 1977.

Their tradition of filling Our Town Charleston with music is just as strong as ever.

Every season, they put on six to eight shows.

This is where the band performs.

The band is made up of about 85 players, from age 12, to age 86.

The music you’ll find is just as diverse as the ages of the members.

They play everything from show tunes, to modern music, to old time-y jazz and marches.

A couple of members we spoke with say it’s amazing to see how the power of music brings everyone together, to put on a beloved show.

“That’s the amazing thing. No matter how old you are…and that’s what we try to illustrate to young players. Music is not something you just do at school. It’s something you do throughout your life. It’s part of your life. You listen to music, you make music, you make music with friends.”

Andy Cougill, Member

Dale Dean Downs has been a member since the beginning. “It’s great. I’ve been retired 25 years, and I still participate in this activity because I enjoy it so much,” he said.

He’s been playing alto saxophone since he was in 5th grade.

Outside the performance season (happening now), sometimes the band will be invited to play at special events throughout the year.

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