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In tune with tradition in Mechanicsburg - abc27 WHTM

In tune with tradition in Mechanicsburg

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MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Before there was TV, radio and even the phonograph, you had to attend a live concert to enjoy music. Many places had their own community bands. And Mechanicsburg still has one, which dates back to the civil war days.

"It's Americana at it's finest. The town band. Being able to have that ability to go out and entertain everybody," said Singer Band Director Matthew Wieseman.

This collection of Middstate musicians celebrates the traditional small town sounds of brass, woodwinds and percussion with community roots that pre-date the Civil War.  Few members come from musical professions. Most are resurrecting playing skills left dormant since high school or college.

"The biggest challenge for me is to be able to get people who just want to play to come together and be one unit and be one group," said Wieseman.

The band formed in 1855 as the Keystone Cornet Band, but didn't blossom until after the Civil War, under the direction of Ddward Singer, whose name remains with the band today. By the 1950's, the Singer Band was among many community bands that faded in favor of high school bands. But a" new" Singer Band re-emerged in 1980, and has been going strong since.

Linda Glantz has been a member of the Singer Band since 1980 and she still loves it.

"We have fun. We have a good time," She said. "It's something that we want to do on Thursday nights."

The band plays at various social and civic events throughout the area, featuring marches, show tunes, big band and classical favorites. And now something new is added to the band's credits, helping to sell a home to a woman looking for a nice place to live.

"She went by and she saw our band playing outside and said 'I'm moving to Mechanicsburg. Any town that has that kind of community spirit, I want to be a part of," said band member Fred Stoner.

 

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