Megan Brownell photojournalist
PSU professor Andrew Chybowski and Pittsburg High School teacher Cooper Neil came together to form a Pittsburg community band.
Neil has taught at PHS for 12 years as a band and strings teacher. Through his time, Neil mentioned how many parents of PHS students, alumni of PSU and PHS, and just other people in casual conversation have brought up wanting to continue to play with their instruments in an ensemble type setting just like they did when in school. With this, both Neil and Chybowski decided to form the band, to give people another chance to do what they love playing their instrument and just enjoy being in a band again.
“Me and Dr. Chybowski have known each other for about 5-6 years, and we have been talking about doing this for a few years, but now we are finally getting around to forming the band and I am very excited about it,” said Neil.
They had their first rehearsal last Sunday, Oct. 16. Approximately 60 people showed up to play.
Currently, most of their membership consists of one middle school student, several high school students from area schools, a few college students, some band directors, and a great number of PHS and PSU alumni who are taking the opportunity to play their instruments again after not playing for a while.
Their first concert will be performed alongside the PSU wind ensemble on Sunday Nov. 13 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bicknell Center for the Arts. For this starting concert cycle, they will perform a variety of music with really no theme to it.
“I tried to program music for this first concert so there would be something everyone in the band likes and enjoys playing,” Neil said.
Some of these consist of a more standard chart of music. Some examples of them are a quirkier contemporary march and an arrangement of a ragtime-era tune.
Though Neil spends most of his time directing the band, he otherwise plays the trombone and French horn. When he is not conducting, he isn’t sure what we would play in the band, but most likely either of the two.
Besides just rehearsing and performing in a band again, they also want to work to make a positive community experience. They want to achieve this by organizing post rehearsal and performance social opportunities for its members.
For anyone else who would like to join the band, there is still time to join before their first performance in November. They have a Facebook page, which is titled Pittsburg Community Band. The page has more information about the band, such as a google form people can fill out if they are interested in joining.
They currently are having rehearsals every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. until their performance, contact Neil and Chybowski for information regarding locations. They aencourage anyone and everyone wanting to join to do so and to come have fun playing an instrument again.