When the members of the Longmont Concert Band got together for their first rehearsal in mid-June, it was like a family reunion.
“People were hugging and thinking how much they missed playing together,” said Gary Lloyd, the band’s conductor.
Not being able to make music together since February 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lloyd said was a challenge. Now, having obtained a special events permit from the city, the Longmont Concert Band is back.
“They are ready to play again,” Lloyd said. “It’s obvious how much (the band members) missed him. It’s playing in a community of musicians that is really special when you make music together that way. You don’t realize until it’s taken away how important it really is.
The Longmont Concert Band, made up of about 60 members, gives a series of concerts in the parks of Longmont. The concerts, free and open to the public, take place on Sundays at 6:30 p.m., the next taking place this Sunday at Kanemoto Park, 1151 S. Pratt Parkway. The band will perform again at Kanemoto Park on July 25, then perform at Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., on August 1.
At the first concert in Kanemoto Park last Sunday, Lloyd, the band’s conductor for seven years, said about 100 people showed up to listen, more than double the number of people he saw. was waiting to see.
“They gave us a standing ovation,” Lloyd said. “Then people would come to the band members to tell them how happy they were to see this and that they would be back next week. “
Saxophonist and band board member Greg Warren described the band as a large community organization.
“We love to share a tradition of orchestral concert music with audiences in Longmont and the surrounding area,” Warren wrote in an email. “It was a joy to be able to organize this four week event and bring our musicians together to do what they love.”
Lloyd said a special events permit had been obtained from the city to host the concert series. There are several types of events that the city classifies on its Web page as a special event, including when the public is invited to a public space or when there will be amplification of sound, due to its potential to impact surrounding neighbors. The permit, plus a park reservation, cost a little over $ 50 for the Longmont Concert Band.
Preparing for upcoming concerts, Lloyd said those who attend the series will hear pop themes, marches, jazz and Broadway numbers. He encouraged people to visit the parks, pull out a lawn chair or put a blanket on the grass, and listen to music.
“It’s definitely a family event,” Lloyd said. “It’s in the public space of the park. It’s very relaxed. You can have kids playing or people riding bikes and they stop and listen for a while. It’s like that old Chicago tune “Saturday in the Park”.