OLEAN, NY -- The Allegany Alumni & Friends Band will close out Olean's free summer concert series Thursday. The band is scheduled to perform in Lincoln Park from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Earlier this week, Lynn Brook, who plays trombone in the band and serves as vice-president of its Board of Directors, shared a few thoughts with TAPinto Greater Olean.
TAP: The concept of a school alumni band is interesting. What does it mean to you and the other musicians to be able to continue to take part in an activity from your school days?
Brook: Playing an instrument and making music as part of a band truly is an example of lifelong learning. In elementary, junior high and high school, we not only learned how to read music and play our instruments, but we learned cooperation, teamwork, diligence, the value of hard work, and the absolute joy of making the musical notes on a page come to life. As members of the Allegany Alumni & Friends Band, we still find it a thrill to make music together as part of an ensemble.
TAP: The band originally was comprised entirely of alumni from Allegany Central School, but since has expanded to include other local musicians. Do Allegany alumni still comprise the majority of the group?
Brook: The Allegany Alumni & Friends Band is currently about half alumni and half "friends". A few of our friends have ties to Allegany (They currently live or work in Allegany, or maybe their children go to school there.), but we also welcome other musician friends who live in outlying areas who just want to participate in making music as members of the band.
TAP: What is the best way to encourage today’s students to get involved with concert bands at their schools?
Brook: There are many documented benefits for children who learn to play a musical instrument, but in most cases it probably comes down to the parents who really encourage their children to participate in band at school. A great music teacher will have a much easier time in shaping a child's musical potential if there is parental support. In addition, since its inception, the Allegany Alumni & Friends Band has welcomed the opportunity to mentor high school students (from any area school district), and we have had many join us throughout the years.
TAP: The band features a trombone quartet called Let It Slide. How did Let It Slide begin?
Brook: Let It Slide has probably been around for at least 10 years. Four members of the trombone section started practicing quartet music on their own, and now they perform during intermission of Allegany Alumni & Friends concerts and occasionally at nursing homes or community events throughout the year.
TAP: You are the last performer in this summer’s Olean concert series. What message do you have for the people who turned out to support live music this summer?
Brook: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We so appreciate the community members who come out week after week to support the Thursday night concerts in Lincoln Park. Their enthusiasm spurs us on to continue to improve on doing something we love -- providing them with an enjoyable evening of quality music, year after year.
In the event of rain, Thursday's show will take place inside the John J. Ash Community Building on North Barry Street.
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