ST. MARYS — The St. Marys Area Community Band will present a special concert on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in St. Marys, which was where Neil Armstrong attended Sunday school and church while he resided in St. Marys with his parents. The concert is a part of several special events planned in Auglaize County to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s lunar landing and walk on the moon.
Starting its sixth season under the direction of Dane Newlove and Craig French, the 60-plus member band includes performers of all ages and occupations from many communities in West Central Ohio. They truly exemplify the belief that “music is for a lifetime.”
The band will be joined on this concert by guest soloist James Zanker, trumpet and fluegelhornist from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Zanker studied music at Iowa State University and Wayne State College. He has been a featured soloist in many ensembles including the Blue River Big Band and the Old Crown Brass Band, and will be featured on two selections with the band; “Jesus Loves Me,” and a concert version of Harry James’ “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
In addition, the band has commissioned area composer and music educator Robert Sloan to write a special piece for the band. Titled “One Small Step,” the piece is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and the composer’s infatuation with space and the history of the Apollo program.
Other selections in the program include: “Summer of ’69,” a medley of tunes from the Woodstock era; “Classical Gas,” featuring soon-to-be Memorial High School graduate Howie Spencer on guitar; “To Challenge the Sky and Heaven’s Above,” marches, and the traditional “Salute to America’s Finest” to honor our veterans. There is certainly something for everyone’s musical tastes.
During the evening, St. Paul’s UCC will show a video of interviews from members of the congregation who remember Neil Armstrong and his family attending St. Paul’s UCC. Additionally, several members will provide their memories of watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
The concert is free; however, a good will offering will be accepted to defray expenses by the band.