I am a huge fan of community bands and orchestras. They bring back to life the music of the past. Growing up, I was a huge musical fan. If it was a movie or a play that had music, I was the first in line at the theater, and the first to buy the video when it came out.

When it comes to our local community bands, I believe it's our duty as citizens to support them. The Abilene Community Band is a musical ensemble that has been an integral part of the Abilene community for decades now. And here's a fun fact: Abilene's Community Band was founded on July 4th, 1976, the year of America's bicentennial.

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My very favorite part our community band is the band's director, Joe Stephens. Mr. Stephens was my sixth-grade band teacher as well as my band director at Mann Junior High.

What I find most incredible about Mr. Stephens is that he is a native of Abilene and graduate of Cooper High School. He went on to serve in the United States Army. While in the service, he was a member of the 4th Army Band and the 4th Army Chorus at Fort Sam Houston. To that I say, thank you for your service to our country, Mr. Stephens.

Our community band director received his bachelor's degree at McMurry University and a master's degree at Hardin-Simmons University. During his awesome career as a musician, conductor, band leader, and community band director, he has made time to perform with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, the Big Band of Austin, the Freddy Woolridge Band, the David Adams Band, and the Abilene Community Band.

So when it comes time to support the Abilene Community Band, please attend one of their many concerts held throughout West Texas, and please donate to keep the band going.

Click here for a list of future events by the Abilene Community Band.

Photo by: Facebook/Abilene Community Band
Photo by: Facebook/Abilene Community Band
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