OLEAN, NY -- The Twin Tiers Community Band will perform in Lincoln Park Thursday as part of Olean’s summer concert series. The free performance is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Earlier this week, Diane Smith, the band's director, shared a few thoughts with TAPinto Greater Olean about the band.

TAP: The Twin Tiers Community Band website describes the band as “an eclectic cross-section of our geographical area” comprised of musicians of different ages, backgrounds and professions. Other than their common love for music, are there other elements that unite the band members?

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Smith: The members enjoy providing and participating in live music performances. Many play together in other performing groups.

Our group is inter-generational. We have had parent and child playing together, grand-parent/grand-child and siblings playing together. We find this inter-generational connection is invaluable to all band members, young and older.

We also find that we are truly a family.

TAP: How do you choose what songs the band plays? Do you pick and choose from a large repertoire or do have a standard set of songs for each show?

Smith: Each season we choose a number of pieces to include in our folders. We include concert pieces, patriotic pieces, marches, musical reviews, big band and popular selections.  We then choose the program based on the venue.

TAP: What is the most unusual venue the band has played?

Smith: Probably when we played for the moving Vietnam Memorial Wall when it was in Smethport, Pennsylvania. 

Once we played at a venue with 50-caliber machine gun firing, small arms firing, it was very trying! 

Others… Maybe the ice skating rink in Callahan Park for an oil festival.   We play at Crook Farm. We did have the pleasure to play in Blaisdell Hall on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for the veterans. Last New Year’s Eve we played in the ballroom of the Marilyn Horne Museum in Bradford.

And for parades we were on a trailer being pulled by a pick-up truck!

TAP: When you’re not onstage yourself, what type of musical performances do enjoy attending as an audience member?

Smith: I love attending musicals, the symphony, drum corps and summer concerts in neighboring communities when Twin Tiers is not playing.  You can also find me at school concerts and festivals.

I enjoy attending performances at Shea’s in Buffalo and the Durham Performing Arts Center in North Carolina. I recently had the opportunity to attend a symphony concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville that featured the Violins of Hope, violins of the Holocaust. 

TAP: Musical tastes are always changing. Do you ever fear that concert bands will go out of style?

Smith: I find myself often encouraging our concert attendees to seek out community concerts when they are traveling. There are so many concert bands throughout our country.

I believe our selection of music is important.  We need to continue to share a variety of concert band music.

I am encouraged that many communities continue to support the arts through their concert series. There is also a strong Association of Concert Bands that provides support.

I believe many community bands are encouraging our middle school and high school students to play along with us to show that playing is a lifelong activity to be enjoyed.

So yes!  I believe you will hear the music of concert bands for years to come.

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In the event of rain, Thursday's show will take place inside the John J. Ash Community Building on North Barry Street.

The concert series will continue on Thursday nights through Aug. 23. The schedule includes:

  • Aug. 16: Kokomo Time Band
  • Aug. 23: Allegany Alumni & Friends Band

All concerts are scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Lincoln Park.