Linda Anderson couldn’t be more thrilled to have a baton in her hand again. Veteran of 30 years as a music teacher at Wellington Middle School and holder of a masters degree in percussion performance, the infamous “Miss A” is a perfect fit for her latest task as director of the Wellington Community Band. After four years in retirement, she’s back doing what she loves.
On a recent Monday night, nearly all the 17 members of the band were seated around her at practice, listening carefully to her instructions, responding to her frequent praise and chuckling at her jokes and anecdotes. And the sound they created had me tapping my foot and humming along.
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It was trombonist Bob Williams who decided last year that the Wellington Fourth of July Parade was badly in need of a band. When he put out the word, Anderson responded immediately and a partnership was born.
Ranging in age from 10 to “we’re not telling,” the band is comprised of local people, some who have not played in a formal band since 1970. One husband and wife are tuba and piccolo players. Others have been active musicians over the years as members of area music groups.
Wellington newcomer Juliann Harvey, her son Matt and daughter Angelica, plus a niece and nephew make the band a real family affair. Ruth and Dave Saunders both play tenor sax and their daughter Laurel Lalicker plays the flute.
Ninety percent of the pieces the band practiced were Sousa marches, in preparation for the parade. Originally the band was to be “a one-time affair,” Anderson said, but now they hope to play for Wellington’s Harvest Festival in the fall. From the way things went at their fourth practice, it’s going to be difficult to give up the camaraderie that is developing so quickly.
Uniforms? “Watch for us in white shirts and black jeans,” Anderson said.
“We welcome anyone who is interested. We need flautists, clarinet, trumpet and trombone players — really anyone willing to give it a try,” Anderson said. Weekly practices are 7-8:30 p.m. at United Methodist Fellowship, 8251 Wellington Boulevard, except for May 26. Just show up!