Summer concerts warm spirits

July 30, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Christmas was celebrated in a small part of Hagerstown Sunday.

On a balmy July evening, nearly 200 people tapped their feet to Christmas tunes performed by the Hagerstown Municipal Band. The performance was part of the group's summer concert series, which will continue through Aug. 19.

Jessica Tiffany, 19, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said she attended last week's show and liked the music so much that she returned Sunday.

Craig Weaver of Hagerstown said he knows from past performances that the band will not play in the rain.

"They have some very expensive instruments up there," he said.

Most of those interviewed Sunday said they enjoy the Hagerstown Municipal Band performances and were not there only for Christmas music.


Weaver is part of a group from St. John's Lutheran Church in Hagers-town that attends most of the Sunday concerts.

"I like any kind of music," he said. "The music, relaxation and fellowship."

Nancy Hopkins of Williamsport is part of the same church group, and said her son, Jackson Hopkins, 18, plays the French horn in the band. He has been with the band for three years and will attend Shepherd University in the fall to study music education.

Jackson's mother said he has gone to the park to listen to the band since he was a baby, and he enjoys playing with the group so much that part of the reason he chose a local college was so he could continue to participate.

William and Marquita Storms of Greencastle, Pa., said they attend most of the Sunday concerts.

The couple said they drove through a rainstorm to get to the performance.

"We took a chance that it would stop," Marquita Storms said. "I think it's great. They have a lot of great musicians up there."

Charley and Barb Ware of Hagerstown said they are friends with Sunday's soloist, Gregory Shook, who plays the oboe. Shook directs Hagerstown Choral Arts, with which her husband sings, Barb Ware said.

"We thoroughly enjoy the concerts," she said. "We've only missed one this season. We love the music."

Edward Knepper of Ringgold said he and his wife, Barbara Knepper, try to attend each of the performances. Most of the time they bring their grandson, Elijah Knepper, 9, of Hagerstown.

"This is one of the best-kept secrets in Hagerstown," Edward Knepper said.

If you go

What: Hagerstown Municipal Band's free summer concert series

When: Aug. 5, 12 and 19, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown City Park band shell

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