Walt's Look Around: Mississippi Community Symphonic Band - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Mississippi Community Symphonic Band

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MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On any given Monday night you will find the members of the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band rehearsing in the band hall of Ridgeland High School in Madison County. The overriding reason for these rehearsals is to prepare for their next concert. But the real reasons these people give up a night a week to come to rehearse are probably as varied as the people in here. And the Community Symphonic Band is a real cross section of the community. For instance, by day, John Davis is a pilot. But every Monday night he plays bassoon in the band. This is his release valve.

John Davis: Well, a lot of us have stresses at our jobs and this is a way of just stress relief. Something to do every week. Something to look forward to away from our jobs, away from our family, away from our everyday life. You know. It's something else to do.

Walt: The conductor is David Miller. He majored in music and taught for a few years in Florida before re-joining the air force for his career. His attraction to playing and performing is probably universal with the group.

David Miller: People can get out of music. But you'll never get the music out of the people.

Walt: That is a tie with everybody here. They are all musicians on the side. They played in high school or college and then graduated and went on with life. But still have an urge to play. And no matter who else they are in the daytime, on Monday night's they are a band.

David Miller: We have at least a half a dozen closer to a dozen physicians, doctors. We have attorneys in here. We have security guards. We have nurses. Nurse practitioners. We have professional musicians. We have retirees. We have retired financial planners. It's got Mississippi in the title because we want to encompass the entire state. It's "Community Band" because a community band has a specific meaning. It's basically amateur. We are not a professional group. Nobody in here is paid. We put on at least five concerts a year. They're all free. Free admission, free parking. But we do survive on donations.

Walt: They play for free and for the fun of it. And the translation of that fun is a part of what the audience gets for free at one of their concerts of the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band.

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