The Powell Community Concert Band will debut on August 27 as part of the city’s first summer concert series.
The group has existed as the Greater Columbus Concert Band since its inception in the late 1980s, but officially changed its name and moved its base of operations to Powell, becoming the first artistic nonprofit to officially represent the city.
Dennis Wollam, who leads the group, said the group has had casual and informal discussions about the move for several years. These discussions intensified during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, during which the group was not rehearsing, he said.
âIt’s a concern that throughout its history the group has never had a home base, a place it could truly call home,â Wollam said. “I thought it was important for the identity of the group and its ability to grow.”
Powell was one of three local municipalities – none of which has a “resident” concert band – the group investigated, Wollam said. The interest and support offered by the city helped make a difference, he said.
City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said the city’s recently completed Community Attitudes Survey indicated a desire among residents to have more performing arts and entertainment events in the city. .
âWe will be working with the group as part of our event structure, and we expect them to be an important part of our annual entertainment program,â said City Manager Andrew White.
âGood conversations led to more good conversations, and we really got the feeling (the city was) behind us,â Wollam said. âIt became clear that we could really help each other. ”
When the group resumed rehearsals about six weeks ago, their new rehearsal space was at Faith Life Church, the former Village Academy campus. The agreement to use the old school music room was facilitated by the city, Woolam said.
âThe Powell Community Concert Band will help continue our mission of providing an excellent quality of life through events and programs, and will serve as Powell’s premier community concert band,â said Mayor Frank Bertone. “We are delighted the group has chosen to call Powell home.”
âThis is a real point of pride for our city and hopefully our residents, and we are delighted to have them here,â White said. âWe think they are a great asset and can become a component of a lot of our events.
Wollam said no additional performances are scheduled, but he could see the group being available to participate in a variety of events, from the holiday season to Memorial Day celebrations, either as a full set or by providing smaller groups for a variety of settings where appropriate. .
He said the most important aspect of the decision was that it was a partnership, with the city providing resources and opportunities and the band providing a valuable community asset.
The 65-strong, all-volunteer membership includes players from all walks of life, said Wollam, most of whom were part of a group in high school and college, including “pro level” players. Many members live in the Powell area, he said, and he hopes to find more as the group is always recruiting new members.
The August 27 concert will be held on the McClurg Properties Stage in Village Green Park, 47 Hall St. The Central Ohio Symphony will perform first.
The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature food trucks, garden games and more. The city’s DORA – which allows alcohol consumption outside during specific events and under specific rules – will also be in effect.