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Alpena City Band celebrates 100 years of music for the community

The Alpena City Band celebrated 100 years of providing music for the community on Thursday night.

Alpena — Music and history was in the air at the Bay View Band Shell on Thursday night as the Alpena City Band celebrated 100 years of music and entertainment.

Hundreds packed the lawn to watch and listen to the sounds of Gershwin, Schubert, and many other local and legendary composers. The band received a dedication from Alpena City Council. State Senator Jim Stamas also recognized the group for their historic achievement. The band was started in 1918 and has grown and transformed throughout time.

“The city band is an institution, It’s part of the definition of the  community,” said Trumpeter Ron Cady. “The community is defined by the people, it’s organizations, it’s institutions, and if you’ve been around for 100 years, I think that qualifies as being apart of that definition.”

Cady has been with the band for over 50 years. He’s seen some of these changes over time. The group embraced leisurely uniforms. Before, they wore thick and hot marching attire that would drain the musicians on a hot summer day. Perhaps the biggest change has been in the director. The band is now being led by a woman after decades of men at the helm.

“Every year we get a little stronger, we get the community more involved,” said Director Lisa Schultz. “I’ve been here now…this is my sixth season with us and I just see the band growing and becoming bigger and better every year.”

Schultz knows that it is an honor and privilege to direct this nonprofit organization’s crown jewel. She is excited for a bright future and ready to take this group to the next level.

“We will be here another 100 years,” said Schultz.