Quincy News

Band on a Bus hits the road

Bryce Rupp plays the drums with the Band on a Bus ad-hoc pep band during a performance at Sunset Home on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The band performed at three stops: Sunset Home, the Illinois Veterans Home and Good Samaritan Home on Friday. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 31, 2018 10:45 pm Updated: Aug. 31, 2018 11:07 pm

QUINCY — Expanding access to arts for Adams County residents is a goal of the Arts Quincy strategic plan.

Arts Quincy Executive Director Laura Sievert said one area it found underserved was the elderly population.

“A lot of them used to frequent the (Quincy) Park Band or the Quincy Symphony Orchestra or even theater performances, and they loved that,” Sievert said. “It was something they looked forward to, but maybe they’re not able to travel as well.”

The solution turned out to be simple. Get 15 musicians into a bus, name the traveling troupe and hit the road.

Band on a Bus played its first gigs Friday morning with stops at Sunset Home, the Illinois Veterans Home and Good Samaritan Home.

“It’s borne out of this idea that sometimes you should just keep it simple,” said Sievert, who played mellophone — the French horn part — Friday.

Directed by Keith Wiemelt, education and fine arts specialist at the Kroc Center, the band’s half-hour program included golden oldies, classic and southern rock for their audience. Some patriotic tunes also were performed.

Wiemelt, who is also conductor of the Quincy Park Band, is excited to bring music to more people in the community, who might not be able to attend concerts during the summer.

“I know with Park Band, if it’s hotter than 85, all the assisted-living centers and the nursing homes can’t come because it’s too hot,” he said. “And most of the summer, it’s over 85.”

The band will try to play at different locations, including day cares and activity centers. 

“This is a pilot program, so it’s one of those things where we are really looking forward to what the community reaction is and seeing where it goes,” Sievert said. “If it looks like something that the community just loves, we hope to grow it to where it needs to be.”

Groups wishing to have Band on a Bus perform, should contact Arts Quincy at office@artsquincy.org.

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