The Knoxville Community Band, sponsored by Knoxville Parks and Recreation, will give a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Tennessee Amphitheater at World’s Fair Park. The concert will feature marches, a bit of Henry Mancini and a touch of down-home (think hoedown) music.
“Cotton-Eyed Joe” is a traditional American country folk song, but the American South has a firm claim on it. The song was featured in the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy.” The Moody Brothers and the Irish group the Chieftains also have recoded versions.
The band will play “Mancini!,” which features themes that were written for a number of TV series and movies, including “The Pink Panther” and “Peter Gunn,” which are among the songs in this piece. Other songs are “Moon River,” “Baby Elephant Walk” from the movie “Hatari!” and “Dreamsville.”
“The Dragoons of Villars” by L. Aime Maillart will also be included in the concert. The overture is from an opera that takes place in a French mountain village. The dragoons in the opera – cavalrymen – have the reputation of being particularly wild. And the piece is indeed a wild ride – for the audience as well as the musicians.
The concert will even feature a bit of Spanish flair with “Amparito Roca,” a Spanish march. The music is apt to remind listeners of Spanish or Portuguese bullfights.
The band is directed by Larry Hicks, retired band director of Heritage High School in Blount County. Mark Boring, also retired from the Blount County school system, is the assistant band director.
The Knoxville Community Band is comprised of instrumentalists in the community who like to play, and most have been playing since grammar school. Some players are band directors who like to take time out from their own bands to keep in practice on their major instruments, and others are professionals in the community who learned to play in school and don’t want to lose their expertise. All are volunteers, and all play because they love music.
The group plays year round at festivals and other special events and performs a series of outdoor concerts during the summer. New members with expertise on wind or percussion instruments are welcome. Practices are from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays at Northwest Middle School.