I am one of those "old gals" who comes out of "nowhere every Summer" to play in the city's "oom-pah" band [Annual Manual, August 9, 2002]. Man, was I surprised to find I "appear" at a certain time of year when I thought I was spending my Tuesday evenings year-round rehearsing or performing.
Your reporter managed to get a few things correct– yes, the Municipal Band is 80 years old this year, and we are the official city band. However, we are not an oom-pah band, but a symphonic or wind band, or wind ensemble. Our repertoire leans more toward light classical and show tunes, with some Sousa and friends on the side.
Our membership is hardly a stagnant group. Within our organization are two smaller performing groups– the PG Lowery Star of the West Brass Band, and the Charlottesville Horn Club. At any given time, other members can form brass or woodwind ensembles for any occasion. Some members of the band also perform elsewhere: pits for musical theater or opera, solo acts, and in local popular bands. Our members might be the nurse who gave you your allergy shot, the Band Director who lead your child's school band to a superior rating at festival last Spring, the realtor who sold you your house, the teacher who teaches your child to play an instrument or to read, the contractor who built your deck, or the postman who delivers your mail.
It is great to be recognized in any form of media, but the fame would be sweeter if the report were more accurate. Please do some research the next time.