Band seeks audience Sunday

G rab a lawn chair and blanket, get outside and enjoy some beautiful summer evenings at free Sunday concerts directed by Kent Baker. The Poultney-Granville Band will be playing every Sunday in July on the East Poultney Green from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

In August the band moves to Granville’s Veterans Park for Sunday concerts starting at 6:30 p.m. The group plays waltzes, marches, show tunes, blues and always has some new tunes to offer. And there are always plenty of pieces for children of all ages to dance to!

The Poultney part of the band originated in 1925 as the Poultney School Band, reputed to be the first school band in Vermont. Two of the original members – Bernard Dooley and Elmer Travers – would play with the band for the next half century and more. The Granville band formed about the same time, led originally by Fred Allen and then for many years by Bill Corey. The early band was also populated by many family members, such as Granville’s Russo family. Lawrence Russo played trumpet for years and his son, Mike, joined him as an eighth-grader, also on trumpet. Mie’s four sons later played in the band – with Gabe on trombone, Joe on French horn, Jeremy on drums and David on the clarinet.

Band manager Rusty Wescott of Poultney explains that over the years the Poultney and Granville town bands merged, and the present band now has members from Poultney, Granville, Pawlet, Fair Haven, Castleton, Fort Ann, Rutland and more. The band consists of more than 30 amateur and professional musicians of all ages. It’s a typical concert band, with percussion, woodwind and horn sections.

“I grew up with the band” says Wescott, who started in 1985 when he was in seventh grade. These days he is joined in the trumpet section by his son Cameron.

This year the band is honoring former director David Fisher, who passed away this winter. Fisher conducted the band for 30 years.

For more information contact Rusty Wescott at 802-287-5185 or holrus@myfairpoint.net.

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