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And the Beat Goes On…

CATALYSTS: how personal initiative energizes our community, Installment 2

by Linda Leighty 

Many young musicians play in their high school bands and derive value and enjoyment from playing their instruments. Very few aspire to future occupations as professional musicians. We probably all know someone who has kept a high school band instrument with the intention of picking it up again. These people will probably tell you that there’s no satisfaction playing the trombone alone.

 “We love to play our instruments…

and we need the band

to help us make the kind of music we most enjoy”

Helen & Stan Walters

Euphonium and Trumpet Players

 Celebrating its 25th year, the Tar River Community Band may be just the thing to get those musicians playing!

Directed by Jim Mauser, the 55-member Greenville band offers all levels of musicians, 18 years and up, the challenge and camaraderie of making music for others. Love of performance binds together amateur musicians, music educators, professional performers, and musical persons from all walks of life and from all over Pitt County and Eastern North Carolina.

Helen and Stan Walters

The enjoyment they get from playing keeps some members, like the Walters-Helen, a euphonium player, and trumpeter Stan, around a long time. “We love to play our instruments,” says Helen, “an unusual one in my case, and we need the band to help us make the kind of music we most enjoy.”

The euphonium, used almost exclusively in concert bands rather than orchestras or jazz bands, has piston valves and a conical-bore. Its tubing gradually increases in diameter throughout its length, resulting in a softer, gentler tone compared to cylindrical-bore instruments such as the trumpet. The euphonium has been called the “king of band instruments”, or the “cello of the band,” because of its similarity in timbre and ensemble role to the stringed instrument.

“[T]he bond of music has made the community band 

more than just a bunch of musicians.

It’s made the band a family.”

Philip Sayblack

Public Relations Director

photo courtesy of Karen Summey

Philip Sayblack, shown here in derby, jacket, and tie, is a second-generation Tar River Community Band member; his father, the late Reverend Joseph Sayblack, Jr. was a distinguished former director of the band. Philip leads the percussionists and serves as the band’s Public Relations Director. As he says, he plays “pretty much a little of everything: snare, bass, cymbals, tympani, etc., etc., etc.”

He supports the band because “while it is a group of musicians first and foremost that wants to share its gift with the community, the bond of music has made the community band more than just a bunch of musicians. It’s made the band a family. If one of us celebrates, say, a birth, birthday or wedding, we celebrate together. If one of us has a tough situation, we come together in support just as a real family would. That’s why I support the band. The band is a group of friends and it’s a family all wrapped up into one.”

 Directing for his third year, Jim Mauser, a music educator at Southside High School in Beaufort County, leads the band in a wide variety of music–marches, show tunes, jazz, swing, classical–representing all levels of difficulty.

 Truly a community band, it is active in all parts of the county. They always kick off Greenville’s popular summer concert series, Sunday in the Park, this year on June 3; provide music for the Pitt County Senior Games opening ceremony; are regular performers at Farmville’s Dogwood Festival; perform at various Christmas concerts throughout the community. To benefit local charities and help cover band expenses, the band holds a spring Pops Concert annually.

 If you’re one of those folks with an old instrument in your closet (even if you don’t, they’ll do their best to help you find one), consider joining this all-volunteer organization! The band rehearses each Thursday evening at 7:15 in the C.M. Eppes Middle School band room. The performance season begins in September and ends with its July 4th performance at Farmville’s Independence Day Celebration. Sponsored by Pitt County Community Schools and Recreation and Greenville Recreation and Parks, there are no fees or dues to join, and there is no audition required.

The Tar River Community Band can next be seen at Tarboro’s Happening on the Common Festival on May 19th at 10 a.m. with a military appreciation concert for Armed Forces Day.

For more information about seeing or playing with the band, 

write: Tar River Community Band
c/o Pitt Community Schools and Recreation
4561 County Home Road
Greenville NC 27858

call: 252-902-1975

or email: Philip Sayblack, Director of Publicity/Public Relations 

Visit the Tar River Community Band Facebook page.

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One Response

  1. Denise Cerniglia says:

    I love the quote about musicians needing the band! Great article!

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