Final August, when longtime Covington resident Meredith Berry first considered forming a neighborhood live performance band in Covington, he by no means imagined it could develop to greater than 60 members in just some quick months.
It’s a band that got here collectively, in a approach, due to COVID-19.
Berry, a trumpet participant, had been enjoying for a neighborhood band at Southeastern Louisiana College. When the pandemic stopped that band’s performances, he set about forming the Covington band and sought out a musical director, musicians and assist from the town .
“I used to be hopeful I may get 20 to 25 musicians that had been succesful. Because it seems, proper now we now have 62 on the roster,” stated Berry, who additionally discovered a stellar musical director in Erik Morales and assist from the town within the type of sponsorship, follow area at Bogue Falaya Corridor and a decision recognizing and supporting the band’s creation.
“This actually goes past my wildest desires so far as the numbers and the standard of the gamers. I actually assume folks will really feel that we sound extra like knowledgeable band than a gaggle of individuals getting collectively and enjoying,” he stated of the woodwind, brass and percussion gamers who’ve gathered weekly for the reason that band’s first rehearsal in mid-November.
Now, the Covington Live performance Band lastly will get to carry out in entrance of an viewers. Its debut, “A Evening on the Motion pictures,” will happen April 15 at First Baptist Church Covington. Dr. Marc Pittman will function emcee, and Iuliia Akers, a Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra musician and proprietor of a Covington music firm, would be the featured violinist.
The live performance will embody melodies and different picks from motion pictures equivalent to “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Harry Potter” and different acquainted numbers.
“We needed to do one thing folks would know,” Berry stated of the roughly 10 picks the band will carry out. “I count on a reasonably good crowd.”
That’s as a result of anticipation for the live performance — each from the neighborhood and the band members — is excessive. “The extra we’re enjoying and the higher it’s sounding, I feel the extra excited all people is getting,” Berry stated.
The band’s inaugural live performance had been scheduled for the tip of January however was postponed as a result of COVID crowd restrictions for music occasions had been nonetheless in place. The delay gave the musicians, a few of whom hadn’t performed their devices in months due to the pandemic, extra follow time, Berry stated, in addition to time for the band to develop its ranks.
“We have now picked up members alongside the way in which … I actually had my doubts with the virus factor how many individuals would present, and we’ve averaged, for these couple months, 40 folks for each follow,” he stated.
The band has grown by way of word-of-mouth amongst members and thru the neighborhood. About 10 to 12 members are skilled musicians, together with many superior and intermediate expert performers. “The entire band is fairly completed gamers,” Berry stated.
Getting ready for the live performance has been a variety of work, he stated. Due to COVID-19, weekly practices have included temperature checks, loads of social distancing between gamers and covers for the horns.
Berry believes this primary present couldn’t have come collectively with out Morales, an completed composer, arranger, trumpet participant and clinician for Alfred Music, a music publishing firm. The Mandeville resident “has put in an incredible quantity of labor,” Berry stated.
Future concert events are within the works, together with what Berry hopes will likely be a two-hour efficiency through the July Fourth weekend in Bogue Falaya Park.
For Berry, the band’s future exhibits that his preliminary thought for its creation “has gone much better than I even anticipated,” he stated. “To have the turnout we now have and the standard of musicians that we bought underneath these situations has actually made it particular. And I feel we’re going to develop.”