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Music, art merge in curtain design

December 13, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

ROHRERSVILLE -- Sherry Kemp has a personal connection to the Rohrersville Band.

Not only has the flute player been a member of the band for 22 years, but her father was a loyal member of the group who recorded all the concerts.

So when Kemp got word that someone else might be coming up with a design for the band's stage curtain, she jumped into the process.

"Hey, this is my band. I don't want anyone messing with my curtain," Kemp said, recalling her reaction to someone else possibly getting the job.

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Art has also been a part of Kemp's life.

She is an oil painter who favors historical pieces and scenes of Frederick, Washington and Carroll counties.

Kemp said making a design for the band's curtain has been considered for years and the idea was recently revived by Jerry Row, a drummer in the band.

Kemp submitted five designs for the curtain to the band for consideration.

The one that was chosen shows Civil War-era musical instruments including a piccolo, flute, baritone, bass drum, field drum and four saxhorns. Saxhorns, now obsolete, were instruments that were pointed over the back of the player so Civil War troops following could hear the music, Kemp said.

Also pictured in the design is a uniform of a Union soldier musician.

The theme behind the design is a fictional concert after the Battle of Antietam to pay tribute to war heroes, according to Kemp and a program for Sunday's annual winter concert, where the design was unveiled before about 70 people in the band's hall on Main Street.

Kemp said it took her 24 days to paint the design. She could not use oil paint like she usually does because that medium gets brittle and would have been inappropriate. So she switched to acrylic paint for the job.

At one point, Kemp used a scaffold to paint part of the design, which measures 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

Kemp, whose knees were damaged by Lyme disease, said the new curtain was put up last week.

"I had to finish it while it was hanging. It was terrible," Kemp said.

Kemp paid tribute to her father in the design by putting his name -- Lee Kemp -- on a cornet book that appears in the picture. Other names of past members of the band also appear in the artwork.

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