CRESTVIEW — Don’t expect 76 trombones leading a big parade, or 110 cornets. But at least two or three rows of local musicians may perform during a Fourth of July picnic celebrating Crestview's 100th birthday.
That’s if Lee Emerson’s plans to organize the North Okaloosa Community Band come to fruition.
“There seems to be a need for a community band,” said Emerson, UpBeat Music's repairs manager. “A number of adults in the area have come in and inquired about it."
With support from UpBeat owner Dick Reinlie — who provided a set of John Phillip Sousa music charts — and area high school band directors, Emerson believes such a band is possible.
He envisions an adult band — with musicians of all skill levels — supplemented by 11th- and 12-grade band students whose directors have given them written permission to participate in it.
The first rehearsal is Monday, March 14 in Shoal River Middle School's band room. Emerson plans for 10 or 12 rehearsals to prepare for a 30-minute Sousa concert during the old-fashioned Independence Day picnic, currently scheduled for Twin Hills Park.
“This is going to be ambitious,” he said. “We have to be aggressive to make this come together. But it’s going to fun and exciting.
"No one ever regrets the time they spent making music.”