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Community Music Opportunities - Community Music School

Updated on December 5, 2019
Reginald Thomas profile image

This author has been an educator, conductor, and trombonist for the past 40 years. His experience qualifies him as an expert in this field.

Music for all!

Community Music Opportunities - Community Music School

Community Music Opportunities - Community Music School - Music is the greatest art form for one to participate in. It wasn't invented, but evolved over centuries to be the most sophisticated art form. From the very simple to the most complex of forms, it has the power to draw thousands of people from great distances to hear a single live performance. It also has a profound effect on our mental make up as it changes the way we think as well as the way we live our daily lives. Music in any form can pump us up and calm us down in a matter of minutes or even seconds. This article explores the Community Music Opportunities for the music enthusiast young and old alike.

Concert Auditorium

Community Music Performances - The Live Concert!

Many music enthusiasts seek out live performances to attend as we have certain types of music we enjoy. While these are mostly of the "pop" or more "star" oriented shows, there are alternative outlets for everyone - especially if it is free! Depending on where you live may restrict what live concerts are available to you. A large metropolitan area will have larger and more frequent venues available than, let’s say a small town. Listed below are some community music opportunities you may not be aware of. Check them out!

Community/Town Concerts

Community music organizations are a great source of local entertainment and in many cases they are excellent groups to listen to. You may find that they are an extension of your university or college band, orchestra or choral programs. That being said, the literature and repertoire performed by these groups will of a fairly high level. Some have great reputations and traditions as they may have been in existence for years. Community group members are your friends, your relatives and your neighbors. Seek out one of these community groups and attend one of their concerts.

Military Band Concerts

The top military bands out of Washington D.C. each year perform on concert tours in different parts of the country. As not to overlap or interfere with another tour, these bands are assigned certain parts of the country each year. The Presidents Own Marine Band maybe touring the East Coast one year while the United States Navy Band is touring the West Coast. This could be happening while the United States Air Force Band is on tour in the central part of the country and the United States Army Band is touring to the south.

These bands out of Washington D.C. are the finest musicians in the world. The concerts are patriotic, educational as well as fun and entertaining. If you have never attended one of these concerts it is well worth looking into. You will never forget the experience. Visiting one of the websites of these bands will give you their concert schedule and where they will be performing throughout the year. Along with top bands out of Washington D.C. are many field bands that are located in many communities across the county.

College and University Music Ensembles

If you have never attended a college or university ensemble concert before, you're missing out on a great opportunity as a concert goer.
If you're in Michigan for instance, The University of Michigan music department is one of the finest in the country which features their instrumental program of several bands and orchestras. Their choral program is outstanding and their jazz program is excellent.

A big metropolitan area like Boston, is home to many colleges and universities known for their music programs: Berklee School of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Harvard University, all have excellent ensembles that perform throughout the year. Every community has a college or university system for the public. Most all have music programs and hold concert performances throughout the year. Very simply,get on the computer and look up the music department of your local college/university.


Military Bands

United States Marine Band
United States Marine Band | Source

Think About This!

"Music Is For All and Not Just The Talented Few!"

Community Music Opportunities for the Performer

Community Bands

Opportunities in community music most often starts with performing. What do you do after High School and College after playing in the band all those years? Do you put the instrument in the attic and let it collect dust? Or, do you find a good community ensemble to continue your music as an adult? The Community Band is one of the oldest community music activities for amateur and professional musicians. In fact, there are currently over 2500 community bands in the United States alone. Community bands have a great tradition dating back to the days of the civil war.

Check out this website from the Association of Concert Bands

Community Orchestras

Many towns throughout the country have community orchestras performing the "classics" for this medium. A good organization is a result of a lot of hard work put together my the conductor and or the "general manager". I have seen very successful orchestras as well as not so good. These community orchestras are made up of top notch musicians from colleges and universities as well as professional musicians who did not make the higher level of professional symphony orchestra. As a matter of fact and not to insult your education, the difference in a band and an orchestra is that a band does not have a string section (violins, violas, cellos basses) and an orchestra does. The band makes more use of the brasses and woodwinds. The literature is very much different.

Community Chorus

Some of the finest choirs or choruses are community groups. They rehearse weekly, year round and perform several times a year. Many choruses are of the competitive nature and prepare a short program to be performed at special festivals where they get to hear other groups from neighboring towns or states. They travel to these vocal festivals where they are adjudicated before a panel of judges.

Community chorus group offer a fun activity where long lasting friendships are formed and memories are made. If you like sing and perform, a community chorus might be the activity you need in your life. Different from the single Church Choir, a Community Chorus draws from many communities. The membership numbers range from 30 to over 150 in some cases. The literature ranges from Handel's Messiah to the latest "Pop" medley.

A good organizer can be the difference between an "OK" and Great community group.

The "Organizer" Manager!
The "Organizer" Manager!

The Organizers!

Building off the concept of developing a community group is the job of the organizer. This is a special person! One who is great with people, has a passion for music and the group being developed. These people are responsible for all aspects of the direction of the groups's future. Everything from recruitment, running board meetings, organizing personnel, planning performances and much much more. They are also called the "general managers" or have a similar type title, but most times the organization's success is a direct result of this person who has 'vision' for the group and the hard work necessary for that success. Many times the general manager will work in conjunction with the conductor or musical director. Most times these people are all volunteers as are the members of the organization. Lots of hard work but well worth it!

Opportunities in this area of adult music are plentiful and always available. We need more aggressive and business oriented people responsible for building and maintaining local performing arts organizations. There are many community bands and choruses that fail because they are poorly run due to not having the right person at the helm.

Community Chorus in Concert!

The Community Music School

Many adults have that on going thirst for musical knowledge. It might be in the form of instrumental or vocal private lessons. Some are interested in learning the art of composing or arranging and don't care to enroll in a college or university. These interests are covered by the Community Music School. In many cases this is a local business covering an array of subject areas. In some cases, it is a volunteer organization providing services in music. These could be private or group lessons in music theory, history, vocal and instrumental for musicians. Classes and individual lessons are taught by college students and professionals. The Community Music Opportunities here are huge.

In some community music schools you will find nicely developed ensembles geared toward the performance minded person. These offerings support the saying that "We are never too old to go to school!"

A Community Band in Performance

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Community Band in Concert

Good Musicians Are Sometimes Hard To Find!

Making Money As An Amateur Musician!

If you are a good or accomplished musician (either vocal or instrumental) there are many opportunities out there for you to earn extra money in the performance field. Most community groups are volunteer in nature but depending on your abilities may open avenues for you to be hired as last minute fill in, featured soloist, pit orchestra player for a show or long term conductor for a group.

There are many theater group performances throughout the year that require musicians for the pit or special vocalists to be part of the productions. Funds have been set aside for these productions for the purpose of hiring musicians and in many cases they will not be looking for professional union musicians. If you get a few of these 'gigs' under your belt, you might find yourself on the short list when musicians are called. So, go get on a list.

Please share with me any comments you may have about community music opportunities in your area. We need to keep it alive and well!


© 2015 Reginald Thomas

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    • Reginald Thomas profile imageAUTHOR

      Reginald Thomas 

      2 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Marlene

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Excellent article! You have helped me realize there are so many opportunities for adults to continue performing musically that there really is no reason to give it up just because we are adults now. By the way, Chicago was one of my favorite groups when I was growing up.

    • Reginald Thomas profile imageAUTHOR

      Reginald Thomas 

      4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you for reading! Good luck!

    • profile image

      Sophia 

      4 years ago

      Great article! Lots of information to help me get back into the music scene.

    • Reginald Thomas profile imageAUTHOR

      Reginald Thomas 

      4 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Ron

      I am a trombone player and still play in group. Lots of fun! You may want to find out what groups are performing in your area and either visit a rehearsal or just attend a concert. Good luck!

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      4 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I was in a community band years ago, and enjoyed it immensely. But, I moved to a different area and, sadly, the trumpet has been in its case a long time now. I'm not even sure there are any community bands nearby. I'm so far out of practice I wouldn't have the confidence try it anyway.

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