CLINTON — The River City Municipal Band is kicking off its 24th year, while looking ahead to next year’s 25th celebration.
While this incarnation of the band started in 1989, RCMB President Mike Adair said the area has had similar bands since the 1880s. Vice President Chris Whipple has been doing some research and said it appears the Mardi Gras Parade was a fundraiser for such a band; the 25th Jubilee Celebration will kick off with the Mardi Gras Parade.
Next year, Adiar hopes to re-create some of the band’s past events. He is even looking into a barge performance on the river. Former band members will be invited to participate in concerts and practices during the 25th year.
“We’re really out to make the next summer as special for everyone as we can,”Adair said. “Then we’re ready for the next 25 years.”
While excited about next year’s season, Adair and Whipple are not about to forget the one that is currently under way. The band started practicing a couple of weeks ago and had its first concert last Friday.
This will be the first year for the band to perform at Camanche Days and in DeWitt. With these additions, Adair said the group will be playing in the four primary communities: Clinton, Camanche, DeWitt and Fulton, Ill.
Percussionist Ed Cole played with the band that first year in 1989. Throughout the years,he has played with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra and the Timber City Band in Maquoketa. He planned on returning to the RCMB last year, but had a conflict. When Director Ben Logan called him this year to see if he was interested, he was happy to return to the group.
“There’s nothing quite like a live performance,” Cole said. He added it is different than simply hearing music on a radio.