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Ever Play a Band Instrument? The Macomb Area Community Band Wants You

The community band is offered through Chippewa Valley Schools Adult and Community Education and meets Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during the school year at Seneca Middle School.

If there is a band instrument gathering dust somewhere in your home, the Macomb Area Community Band has a seat waiting for you.

Formed in 2000 to provide a place for former high school and college musicians to refresh their musical talent, the band is always looking for new members to expand its concert arc.

And for those whose instruments have sat idle for more decades than they would care to admit, Clinton Township resident and longtime band member Al Grojean assures prospective members, “None of us are candidates for the DSO.” 

“I played through high school and then I occasionally picked up my instrument over the next 30 years,” Grojean said. “I didn’t play regularly with any band until I got into this band. I was a little rusty at first, but I caught on and got back up to speed more or less.”

While the band is not for beginners, Grojean said even the more seasoned players hit their share of bad notes as their musical memory returns.

“All we ask is if someone has an interest, to come to a rehearsal and just observe, or bring your instrument and join in,” he added. “Nobody laughs at bad notes. We’re just there to enjoy ourselves because we like concert band music. It’s pretty low-key.”

The band, which includes teachers, pharmacists, engineers, auto workers, veterans and retirees from their 20s to 80s, rehearses weekly at Seneca Middle School in Macomb Township.

Offered through Chippewa Valley Schools Adult and Community Education, the band meets Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during the school year. It does not rehearse during Chippewa Valley breaks or when schools are closed due to inclement weather.

There are no auditions to join, but as the program is offered through the Adult Enrichment program, there is a $60 registration fee, which works out to approximately $5 a week for each 12-week session.

Those interested in joining the band can register online at http://www.cvs.k12.mi.us/commed/  under Adult Enrichment, in-person at 19230 Cass Ave. in Clinton Township or by calling 586-723-2050.

Under the instruction of Jack Mixter, a former member of the U.S. Army Band, the group plays mostly high school-level music ranging from marches and Broadway show tunes to classical music and holiday favorites.

The band also tries to perform six concerts during the year – three at Christmas and three in the spring – for the community and local senior living facilities.

“I would encourage anyone with any interest to check out our website and come to a rehearsal and get to know us,” Grojean said. “Anybody that has experience playing a band instrument in either high school or college is welcome.”

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