Darryl Bayly is a clarinet player on the East Hillsborough Community Band, which will perform its annual Patriot Pride Concert at the First United Methodist Church of Brandon on June 27. PHOTO FROM JOE REILLY
BRANDON - One week before fireworks fill the Fourth of July night sky, the East Hillsborough Community Band will use music to celebrate the country's spirit of independence.
The ensemble will perform its fourth annual Patriotic Pride concert June 27 at 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Brandon, 121 N. Knights Ave., which is also where the band rehearses every Thursday evening throughout the year.
Kim McCullers established the band four years ago.
"I was playing in a band in St. Pete, and I got really excited about putting something together in East Hillsborough," said McCullers, a trumpet player in the band
She said about a dozen people turned up to the first rehearsal in Plant City. Since that time, the band's headquarters has moved from the Grace Community United Methodist Church in Lithia to the Music Showcase store in Brandon and finally to its current home at the First United Methodist Church of Brandon.
The band has about 55 members, ranging in age from 20 to 85.
"A lot of us played in high school or college, but then we all had to get real jobs and all that fun stuff," McCullers said.
Tom Nelson, another trumpet player, said the band performs about 12 shows throughout Hillsborough each year.
"We mix up our repertoire to appeal to our audience," Nelson said. "We generally play music we think the audience is familiar with. There's classical music that musicians like to play, but if the audience doesn't know it we can see their eyes glaze over."
Nelson said the upcoming concert will feature songs like "God Bless America", "Battle Hymn of the Republic", "Victory at Sea" and other patriotic favorites.
McCullers said the East Hillsborough Community Band is also on the lookout for new recruits. Prospective members must read music and bring their own instrument.
"This is a great excuse to get together, play some music, and have a good time," McCullers said.
For more information, call (813) 569-1771 or visit www.ehcb.org.