SPIRIT OF STANLY 2024: Stanly County Concert Band hits the right notes

The Stanly County Concert Band came from an idea two friends, James Cotton and Stephanie Zunino, had to provide an opportunity for those who played band instruments to play again.

In the spring of 2012, a group began to meet to create the band. The original members who became the board of directors were James Cotton, Stephanie Zunino, Tim Hedrick, Carmella Hedrick, Frank Poolos, Doug Craig, Walt Summerlin and Dr. David Kirby from Pfeiffer University.

Tim and Carmella Hedrick and Frank Poolos are conductors of the band. They have taught at various levels for many years.

Over the next six months, they toiled away to set up the band as a non-profit and decide the direction they wanted to go.

In addition, the Stanly County Concert Band also wanted to offer the citizens of Stanly County and the area free or low-cost concerts at least twice a year. The band partnered with Pfeiffer University which supplied rehearsal and performance space, large instruments and an extensive music library. It became a performance vehicle for Pfeiffer University students.

Unfortunately, David Kirby, who had been very instrumental in the Pfeiffer connection, passed away before the band was officially started. The first concert in November 2012 was dedicated in his memory.

Since 2012, the band has grown to around 50 members and has performed two to four times every year. All early concerts were performed at Pfeiffer University in the chapel.

In November 2013, the Stanly County Concert Association sponsored the band’s first themed concert, “A John Williams Tribute,” at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center. The concert was a success and spurred the band’s move to performing almost exclusively at the Agri-Civic Center.

Musical programs of the Stanly County Concert Band range from classic concert band literature, contemporary works for wind band and jazz to popular music for themed and holiday concerts. The band currently presents four to five performances each year. A highlight of this past year was being a part of a fundraising event in Montgomery County to aid Ukranian families. Approximately $30,000 was raised at the event.

With continued support from the community, Pfeiffer University, The Stanly County Arts Council, Uwharrie Bank and the Stanly County Concert Association, the Stanly County Concert Band strives to provide opportunities to anyone 18 years old and older to continue enjoying the gift of music for a lifetime.

The Stanly County Concert Band is a self-sustaining, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization relying on donations and grants to fund its activities.

This article previously appeared in the Spirit of Stanly magazine.