The Crestwood Community Band revived the fun of being in school bands, but this time as adults.
What is it?
According to their statement of purpose, the Crestwood Community Band is a group of amateur musicians dedicated to bringing music to the community, rather than the other way around.
They love to perform concert band music in places it has never been before. Also, they seek to welcome and encourage folks to pick up the instruments they may not have played in years and restore their delight in playing once again.
You can expect to hear all sorts of music; pop, rock, swing, Broadway show tunes, along with holiday as well as patriotic music. Whatever the Crestwood Community Band plays, they hope it will make you want to dance, sing along or simply listen and enjoy.
How did it get started?
Bham Now talked to Stacey Gordon about how the Crestwood Community Band started.
“Many people put a tremendous amount of effort into playing their instrument in high school and college, but if you’re not a professional, then there’s not really an outlet for people to play that is just casual and fun,” said Stacey.
“My partner Sherrie Hafley plays the french horn, clarinet, and trumpet but she had no one to play with! So, we started the band.”
The Crestwood Community Band started in January of 2015. Since then, they have performed gigs at Cahaba Brewery, Iron City, and they have even performed a Christmas concert at Buck Mulligan’s.
Who’s in the band?
Stacey says, “The members of the band are a reflection of the demographics of Birmingham. Many work in healthcare, and the legal field, we have media professionals, educators and even a firefighter. The ages span from 17-70+. We have a high school senior who plays right alongside retired folks.”
Quotes from band members
Bham Now also got some quotes from fellow band members about their experience in the Crestwood Community Band.
“I hadn’t played clarinet in the 24 years since high school, and I wanted to rekindle some of that old fun of music and fellowship. In March 2016, there was some nervousness when I walked in to my first practice with my rental clarinet, but that disappeared quickly with a genuine warm welcome from the members.
It’s been an encouraging environment to build my rusty skills back up. I’ve even been trying my hand at directing and conducting this year, which has been a rewarding challenge. I rediscovered the thrill of playing to a concert audience (but this time in relaxed bar settings!).
There’s a unique sort of kinship between “band geek” amateur musicians, a sort of “code” that everyone speaks — reliving our glory days of marching band, sharing awesome music videos on our Facebook page, cracking punny music jokes. We’ve become like a growing family, providing both a fun diversion and emotional support during some personal hard times. Simply put, my life is better with music and the Crestwood Community Band in it.” -Dr. Leanne Cianfrini
“Last time I played with a group was 17 years ago in college at UAB. I was nervous about playing with a group, but in a very short time, I was good. We have a lot of fun at practice, plenty of laughs. I missed the camaraderie of band and I have definitely found it with these guys.” -Lyndsy Alesce
“I joined the Crestwood Community Band about a year ago and since then I look forward to Monday nights. We have a lot of fun and work really hard to entertain audiences of all ages. I’ve played in many bands in my life and this one ranks up there with the best.” -Janet Taylor
Can I join the band?
According to their statement of purpose, the Crestwood Community Band wants to revive the fun of being in school bands, only this time as adults. They get to play whatever they want, wherever they want, minus the itchy uniforms and silly hats. (Well, they would never discourage the wearing of silly hats!)
The Crestwood Community Band welcomes all people with all types of talent. There’s no expectations, try-outs, or minimum practice requirements. Woodwind, brass, and percussion are all welcome.
As Stacey Gordon said, “we’re always looking for more folks. We would love to have more people in the band! If you’re hesitant about your skills, don’t let that stop you! Come on out and you’ll get them back!”
Band rehearsal is every Monday night from 6:15pm-8pm in the Girls Inc. gym (5130 8th Ct S, Birmingham, AL 35212) where they are kind enough let us use their space. If you are interested in joining the band, then email Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you want to support the Crestwood Community Band, then come to their next event at Cahaba Brewing on October 30th. They go on at 7pm.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we do put in some work to improve musically. We also work hard at having fun.” Stacey said, which sums up the goal of the Crestwood Community Band perfectly.
Also, be sure to like the Crestwood Community Band’s Facebook page to show your support!