50 members, the president and the directors of the Charlotte Pride Band (CPB) are more than excited to make their Freedom Park debut on August 14 at 6 p.m. Admission is free for this “Concert in the Park” and film fanatics are encouraged to attend to hear the band play the compositions of John Williams, among others. The musical medleys will include Williams’ compositions from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Star Wars,” “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park.” His “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” is another timely addition to accompany the Tokyo Games.
Says CPB President and member of the CPB’s trumpet section, Ron Vereen: “Because we are a relatively young organization in Charlotte, I don’t think people know much about us and we want to change that.”
Things seemed to be looking up prior to the pandemic, with over 60 active members between the ages of 17 and 75. Unfortunately, the band took a hit when it became impossible for them to host indoor rehearsals and concerts.
Vereen is confident that the CPB will have 70-plus members by year’s end. Unlike other performance troupes, the CPB does not hold auditions and allows anyone of any musical talent to join. CPB holds four yearly concert band performances and participates in the annual Charlotte Pride Parade.
Founded in 2010, the Band also hosts non-ensemble events such as the Charlotte Pride Band brass quintet for Sunday Brunch Brass. Their primary tenet is openness for all interested participants and the encouragement and welcoming of diversity.
Flute-player Kate Walters was overjoyed to find such a welcoming space. She found comfort in returning to her roots, so to speak. “Over the past few years I slipped away from playing as other priorities took over, but recently felt compelled to play again. My fiancé is musical and, honestly, his inclination to play for enjoyment pushed me to find a band of my own to play with.”
After mustering the courage to email CPB about rehearsals, Walters found community, welcome challenges and a judgement-free ensemble.
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