Community band holding summer concert

While the "Clovis sound" is a phrase often thrown out to remind Clovis Music Festival attendees of the sounds of Buddy Holly, the Fireballs and the Crickets, it could just as much be applied to the tunes that play on a warm summer night every year at Ned Houk Park.

The Clovis Community Band is set for another performance, 8 p.m. today at the park. Admission is free, with spectators reminded to bring their own seating, whether it be blankets or lawn chairs.

The band, which boasts about 42 members, from teenagers to 80-year-olds, has plenty of people who just love music. But longtime member Cherrie Hayden said there's a supportive fan base that's the same way.

"We like performing, and people in Clovis appreciate good music," said Hayden, a 1966 Clovis High graduate who joined the band when Norvil Howell started it about 30 years ago. "The rehearsals are also fun. We enjoy getting together because we do like music. The concerts are a plus."

Jim Barnard, director of the band, said a previous director made the decision to take the concert to the park. He sees no reason to change it.

"The outdoor concerts are a lot of fun in the summer time," said Barnard, himself a Clovis High band director for 24 years. "They have a bandshell, as well. That gave us a reason for going there."

This is the second year of conducting the summer concert for Barnard, who has played in the band off and on since 1980. He took over the directing position last year when Dustin Siefert had a prior commitment, and he's doing it again as Siefert decided he wanted to play in the band this year.

The band tries to keep a mix of music that's challenging but not overwhelming. While there are musicians who can handle much more, Barnard answered that a good skill level to apply would be music you'd expect a high school upperclassman to be able to play.

"We try to keep it light," Barnard said. "We're playing tunes from the 1890s, we're doing stuff on Broadway, we're doing some arrangements based on American colonial tunes."

The band takes a break following the summer concert, Hayden said, but practices will begin again following Labor Day and will be 7 p.m. every Monday at the Marshall Middle School auditorium.

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