Yargo band celebrates one-year anniversary

WINDER - The 45-member Yargo Community Concert Band will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Barrow County Leisure Services Center. The concert is free and donations are accepted.

Since its first rehearsal March 26, 2006, the band has performed for Gov. Sonny Perdue, at the Fort Yargo Christmas celebration, local festivals and at area retirement homes.

The band consists of members ranging in age from 13 to 85, some driving from Alpharetta, Cleveland and Social Circle to make music.

"We have a home school student, retirees, anyone who wants to play," said Michelle Walker, who plays saxophone and flute in the band along with her children and ex-husband.

"Our slogan is 'Music for a lifetime,'" Walker said. "There are no auditions. We give people an opportunity to play regardless of their skill level or how long it's been since they played."

Many musicians spend years learning to play an instrument, only to lose the skill when they graduate high school or college because of a lack of opportunities to play. The Yargo Community Concert Band gives those musicians an outlet for their skills, plus a chance to improve their craft, said Wes Kilpatrick, one of the band's founding members.

A saxophone choir formed as a spin-off from the larger concert band. It's members will play during Saturday's intermission.

The band will play patriotic tunes, highlights from Rogers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," songs from "The Blues Brothers" and Ray Charles, among others. South Hall Middle School Band Director Joyce King will conduct "Go West" by Ralph Ford.

Yargo Community Concert Band is accepting new musicians. For more information, visit their Web site at www.yargocommunityband.