Every summer Blowing Springs Park is home to a series of concerts thanks to a group of volunteer musicians who have been playing together since 1985. The Bella Vista Community Concert Band has more than 50 members who play everything from tubas to trumpets on a stage they helped pay for.
The Fourth of July Concert drew a really good crowd, Band Director Randall Cavanah said. He's one of three directors who share responsibility. The group practices at Community Church, where they also store several cabinets full of sheet music. While the band has Bella Vista in it's name, musicians come from all over the region.
"There's no audition, people just come and play," Cavanah said. "If you can stand the pressure we keep you. Those that can't keep up, bow out."
Often members take time off for various reasons and then return.
"It's a friendly group. We get together because we like playing music," he said.
Bobby Power was a member when the band formed in 1985. His wife was also a founding member, but she took a few years off at some point.
They started at Bentonville High School where the band director gave them access to rehearsal space and even let the group use some school instruments like a bass drum and a tuba.
Power remembers the band's first concert in Bella Vista was actually at Metfield where a new flagpole was being dedicated.
"We fit on the front porch (of the clubhouse), but then we were bigger and we moved to the back porch," he said.
The band needed a permanent home, so they started raising funds for the stage in Blowing Springs Park. It was the people of Bella Vista that paid for it, Power said, because they were buying tickets to all the fundraisers.
Lately, Power said, the age of the band is getting younger.
"We've always had one or two youngsters, but now we have several. We're glad they're there," he said. Some of the youngsters are high school students who also play in their high school band, but others are a few years older.
While they always play some of the same classic band music, the arrangements are always changing, Power said.
This year, a food truck is coming to each concert so the audience can have dinner while they enjoy the music. The food truck offers a varied menu that includes barbecue.
Except for holidays, concerts are on Tuesdays beginning at 7 p.m. They'll be playing on July 16 and 30, and in August on the 13th. Their Labor Day concert is on Monday, Sept. 2. After that they move inside with a concert at the Bella Vista United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 and a Christmas Concert at 3 p.m. at the Bella Vista Community Church on Sat., Dec. 14.
General News on 07/10/2019
Print Headline: Bella Vista Community Concert Band draws from all over