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The Cumberland County Community Band welcomes new members — no auditions are necessary. Right now, they have a need for clarinet players, but all musicians are welcome.

The Cumberland County Community Band is back and has been working diligently in preparation for their first concert in over a year. The concert will take place Sept. 23 in the auditorium of Stone Memorial High School, 2800 Cook Rd., Crossville. The program begins at 7 p.m.  

One piece the band will play as it begins its 21st year is Caribbean Rondo. The peppy calypso rhythm will take you to islands with warm, sandy beaches and water so clear you can see schools of fish. This is a perfect piece as summer comes to an end. 

The heat continues with Rise of the Firebird. This exhilarating piece was written by Stephen Reineke, music director of The New York Pops. The Firebird, or Phoenix, is a mythical bird of the Arabian desert that, after rising from ashes, was renewed stronger than before to live another life. Phoenix is also a term used to describe someone who has experienced tragedy and recovered stronger than before. Fanfares announce the Phoenix and one can imagine the bird as it soars through the air. Impending danger is apparent with the slower tempo, featuring fanfares in the lower brass section. As the tempo increases the bird rises once again. 

Fire was significant in the life of Philip Bliss (1838–1876) who wrote On a Hymnsong and the man who wrote the words to his piece. Throughout the piece the listener will recognize the melody to the words “All Is Well With My Soul.” These words were written by Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) after the death of his two-year old son in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. In 1873 the Spafford’s were planning to travel to Europe. Unable to sail as planned, he sent his wife and four daughters on their way with plans to meet them later. The ship carrying his family collided with another ship and sank. Only his wife survived. On his way to meet his wife, Spafford’s ship passed near the collision site and he was inspired to write the words which Philip Bliss put to music.  

Bliss was a composer, conductor, and writer of hymns. He and his wife were on their way to hear preacher D.L. Moody speak when the train in which they were traveling crashed. Known as The Great Train Wreck of 1918 (or Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster), the accident occurred while crossing a bridge which “failed”. Some of the cars caught fire and several passengers perished. Neither Bliss nor his wife’s bodies were found. 

More modern pieces include Big Band Spectacular featuring Mike Chilcut and Tennessee Salute featuring Mike Chilcut and Phil Craighead on trumpet. 

The Cumberland County Community Band looks forward to seeing you there.

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