Traditionally a summer-only experience, the Kent State Communiversity Band is expanding to offer the program year-round.
The band, an all-ages amalgamation of students, faculty, area music teachers and high school musicians, for years has been a summer-only affair with one performance held after weeks of rehearsal.
Pat Grutzmacher, the band's director and associate professor of music at Kent State University, said for some time there's been interest among the band's members and alumni to run the program year-round.
"When I conducted the Communiversity band this summer, a number of the musicians came up to me and said ‘you know, if this were a year-round band I would love to play in it," she said.
So Grutzmacher got permission from the Kent State School of Music's director, Denise Seachrist, who had encouraged the idea.
Grutzmacher said she's hopeful to keep a strong mix of young and old players, both professionals and students, in the year-round program.
"It was really a combination of many people from the community," she said. "So that’s what I’m hoping that we can establish with this year-round. High school students are welcome to play with the support of their high school band directors."
The band will hold rehearsals once a week on Tuesday nights from 7:15 to 9:45 p.m.
Community members can join the band and play free, but students at Kent State have the option of paying to use the time in the band for course credit.
The band will have one performance during spring, fall and summer semesters near the end of each semester. What the band rehearses and performs will depend upon the season, Grutzmacher said.
"It’s my hope that what we will do is we will establish a core of musicians who will be with us consistently from semester to semester," she said. "I would like inevitably to end up with a band of about 60 to 65.
"Things are different during the year because people have busy schedules," Grutzmacher said. "Since this is the first time we’re doing it, I don’t know how many we will draw. Hopefully we’ll have a quorum on Tuesday night so that we can actually spend part of our time rehearsing."