The other day a received a note from a man I do not know. Gregg Holley wrote to me about the band his wife Mina plays in. He hoped I’d be interested in writing a story for the small paper I work for about an upcoming Spring Concert.
The Wellington Community Band, 15 members strong, is hard at work practicing for a performance in mid-April featuring favorite music from films. They meet every Monday night at a church in Wellington, a community of 7,000 souls 12 miles north of Fort Collins and the last town along I-25 before the Wyoming border and Cheyenne.
Like several of the small towns surrounding Fort Collins, Wellington is experiencing a growth spurt, for better or worse. But so far, it remains a tight-knit community, proud of its heritage which includes a genuine concern for the importance of coming together to make music and to make friends.
There are no tryouts. Everyone is welcome. Over time members have ranged in age from 9 to 84. Grandpa Murrell Johnson, tuba, his son Craig, euphonium, and granddaughter Emily, flute, make up one-fifth of the band. There’s a lawyer, a professor, a p.e. teacher, a stay-at-home mom, an accountant, a nurse and an engineer among the members.
Four annual concerts are free, supported by members who bake cookies and sell them at intermission during performances. Change is never a problem. Every item is a buck.
Long-time middle school band director, Linda Anderson donates her time and energy and lavishes affection on the players. “Music. It’s our common thread,” she says.
The band got started several years ago when euphonium player Bob Williams decided that Wellington’s Fourth of July parade was suffering for lack of some rousing music. He recruited from townspeople, some who had not played an instrument for as long as 17 years. Linda Anderson stepped up to direct and the Wellington Community Band was born.
After enlivening the Fourth of July parade, their most public performance, the band heads to the park to give a concert. Other concerts are on Veterans Day, Christmas and in the spring. The people of Wellington look forward to every one.
I came away with a warm feeling inside, once again understanding why I keep writing for the North Forty News. It allows me to have experiences that enrich and encourage me despite the national news.