I enjoy music and appreciate good musicians, so I am pleased to live in a town that values good music.
We are fortunate to have music programs in our schools and to have the North Okaloosa Community Band, under the direction of Kim Whaley, the band director at Shoal River Middle School. Currently, there are also three associate conductors: Lindsay Stuart from Paxton Middle School, Joshua Williams, and Jeanine Connelly.
Lee Emerson, an instrument repairman at Upbeat Music, had the vision to form a community band and asked Bob Allen and some other musicians if they were interested. That is how Crestview got this wonderful band.
The band formed in January last year, starting with about 15 members. It has since grown to over 50. Many of the musicians are high school students and about 40 percent are adults of various ages. The band rehearses on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at Shoal River Middle School. Whether a virtuoso or beginner, musicians with all levels of experience are encouraged to participate.
The next NOCB performance is during the Crestview Fall Festival, and starts about 4 p.m. Oct. 28 on Main Street. The program will be "spooky" music suitable for Halloween. This should be a fun time for all ages.
The band begins every performance with "The Star-Spangled Banner." When the band is playing, if Crestview Mayor David Cadle is present, he is always invited to conduct one piece. Cadle is the former director of the Crestview High School Band.
A Christmas program, in conjunction with the Friends of the Arts, is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4 at Warriors Hall. I will post more information as it becomes available.
In addition to the community band, we have an outstanding Crestview High School band under the leadership of Jody Dunn.
We are just as fortunate to have an exceptional school choral department under the direction of Kevin Lusk. Both men do an astounding job of teaching musical discipline to those who are interested in music at CHS. We are blessed to live in a music loving community.
Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.