By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
Many musicians and instruments have come and gone, but the Salina Municipal Group has remained a pillar of the community for over 100 years.
The group concluded their 137th season as they often do, rolling on a trailer and performing at the Tri-Rivers Fair Parade on Tuesday night. The group has also performed at the Smoky Hill River Festival and occasionally for other events.
Director Tom Miles told Salina Post the band members come from a variety of ages, backgrounds and locations, with some traveling up to 80 miles to rehearse and perform. Miles himself comes from Abilene by car.
Miles said the band members also have different musical abilities.
“Some have performed with the Salina Symphony. Others are relatively new with their instruments,” he said.
The only thing the 40 members have in common, however, is their love of music.
During their summer season, the band typically performs Tuesday nights on the Eric Stein Stage at Oakdale Park in Salina. The group is also doing an exchange with the municipal group of Abilene. The concerts are open to the public free of charge.
The Municipal Orchestra of Salina rehearses on the third floor of Memorial Hall. Miles said that each week he selects 12 pieces of music to play from the group’s library of over 300 songs. The selections are a mix of musical types including marches, openings, Broadway, sacred, Latin and pop music.
“We do play great music,” he said.
The group is funded by the city of Salina, which provides rehearsal space and some money. Miles said some of the money is used to purchase music, which he buys every two years. Part of the funds is also used for the maintenance of some instruments belonging to the group. However, many musicians bring their own instruments to play, he said.
To learn more about the Municipal Group of Salina, including its 137-year history, visit the group’s website website.