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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Ann Arbor Civic Band kicks off summer season with concerts in the park

Dr. J. Nick Smith of the School of Music & Dance at EMU leads concerts in the park this summer.

The Ann Arbor Civic Band will kick off their 87th summer season with concerts in the park every Wednesday from June 15 to July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Burns Park.

The band has a new director who Eastern Michigan University School of Music & Dance students may be familiar with: Dr. J. Nick Smith, assistant professor, associate director of bands, and director of athletic bands at EMU.

Early this year, Smith was selected through an interview process for the position as the music director at the Ann Arbor Civic Band. 

“The concerts in the park are a tradition of the group,” Smith said. “I think it’s continued to be a tradition simply because it's a huge service to the members of Ann Arbor and other local communities. It brings families out to enjoy music by adult community musicians.”

The Ann Arbor Civic Band is made up of many different types of people from the local community. 

“These are folks who just love to play,” Smith said. “A lot of them participate in community bands in the area, and this is the one that they do over the summer. These are really community musicians. When everyone hears them perform, I think they’re going to be highly impressed.”

The Ann Arbor Civic Band was not in session in 2020 due to COVID-19. When they came back in 2021, they downsized the group to about 30 players that were called the “The Pandemic Players.” Now in 2022, there are 93 musicians back to play for the band. 

“There are a ton of people now. I am super excited and proud that people are coming back and wanting to continue their love of music. It’s been a great experience,” Smith said. 

The Ann Arbor Civic Band’s Concerts in the Park will be themed every week.

  • June 15: Movie Madness 

  • June 22: Song and Dance

  • June 29: March On!

  • July 6: Star Spangled Spectacular

  • July 13: Road Trip 

  • July 20: Sounds of Summer 

For more information about the Ann Arbor Civic Band and their summer concert season or to donate to the band, visit their website.