Community Chorus is also still going strong after a number of years

The Ballard Community Band kicked off its 25th year of entertaining Ballard area residents on June 9 as part of the Cambridge Firemen Days celebration.

Two board members of the Ballard Community Performing Arts Association (BCPAA), Mary Jo Beckman, board secretary, and Jenine Henry, board president, said the band was started in 1992 by the Huxley Parks and Recreation Board. The Ballard Community Chorus was organized a few years later by community members who wanted to bring back a community chorus.

The BCPAA organized last year to facilitate the hiring of directors, purchasing of music and to promote performing arts in the Ballard area.

Beckman, who plays clarinet in the band, said that the band and chorus average 40 members, ranging in age from junior high to senior citizens. “We draw from all of the Ballard area, Ames, Johnston and to others who are interested from the surrounding area,” she said.

Henry, who plays bass clarinet in the band and is also a member of the chorus, said the groups entertain with a variety of music. “During the summertime, (the band) will include marches, as well as patriotic music (along with its variety of pieces). The chorus does some show tunes, gospel and patriotic music,” she said.

Beckman and Henry said the Cambridge performance kicks off a number of performances for the year. The Community Band will perform at 7 p.m., June 22 at the Ames Bandshell, before the Ames Municipal Band. On June 24, “An Evening of Treats and Tunes” will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 104 Lynwood Dr., Huxley) from 5-8 p.m. (Sandwiches, ice-cream, sweet treats and music will be included.) Both the band and chorus will perform July 3 at the Slater Fourth of July celebration, starting at 8 p.m. On Aug. 26, they will perform for the Prairie Festival in Huxley, starting at 1 p.m.

“We are hoping to schedule at least one more performance during the summer,” Henry said,

In October, the music groups begin rehearsals for their annual holiday concert that is held the first Sunday in December.

Rehearsals for the summer season began in April. Those are held Monday evenings at Ballard High School in Huxley, with the band rehearsing at 6:30 p.m. and the chorus following at 7:40.

Leading the community band is director Peter Krumm, who is the Ballard High School vocal music director, but happens to have instrumental music experience as well. Leading the community chorus is Dianna Jordan, who directs a choir at her church. Krumm also accompanies the chorus.

Those interested in being part of both or either of the music groups are welcome to come to any rehearsals. “We ask for a membership donation of $25 per year or $40 for two or more from the same family,” Beckman said. “We pay our directors, purchase music and supplies through membership donations, grants and fundraising.”

Both Beckman and Henry agree that the Ballard Community Band and Chorus are opportunities for those who are interested in making music to come together with a group of people who are there for the same reason.

“There are no tryouts and everyone is welcome,” they said.

To find out more about the Ballard Community Band and/or Chorus, contact one of these three people:

Mary Jo Beckman at:

Jenine Henry at:

Scott Licht at: