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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Band to perform at festival

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Jackson Township Community Band, under the direction of Matthew S. Huber, will perform at the Popcorn Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Forest Park Band Shell of Pavilion in case of rain.

The band has performed throughout Clay County and throughout the United States since its founding in Hoosierville in 1915.

The band was organized as a farm boy brass band by Lewis McNutt. J. Gus Davis was the first director and matched instruments to the boys by size and age.

The only directors besides Davis and Huber have been Banty Parkins, Ross Tipton and Carl Kumpf.

Davis and Huber are the only conductors in the history of the band and the Brazil Concert Band to direct both bands. They are also distantly related.

The band performed for the Armistice in 1918 at the Clay County Courthouse and has performed at many national conventions of the American Legion and V.F.W. They have played from Los Angeles to New York City and from Miami to Minneapolis.

Orville Redenbacher was, indeed, a member of the band during the 1920s. He was a tuba player and performed with the band before going to Purdue University.

During the birthday party in Redenbacher's honor at the Forest Park Pavilion several years ago, Huber interviewed him about his days with the band.

"Orville had a vivid memory of playing for church socials, parades, funerals and political events,"?Huber said.

"He remembered various former members of our band and stated their occupations ranging from dairy farmers to county extension agents.".

He graciously posed with members of the band for a photo session.

In another photo, he posed with a tuba along with Huber.

"Although he told me he had lost his wind years ago, he still managed to sound off a couple notes," Huber said. "He still had good tone."

Today, the 40 members of the band are a mix of men and women.

Most of its members also play for Huber in the Brazil Concert Band and have recorded and traveled with the BCB.

The JTCB has a busy schedule each season with performances in Brazil (Eastern Star, Loyalty Day, K-Day, the Popcorn Festival and Veterans Day) and at events throughout the Wabash Valley, including the Merom Festival, Clay City Pottery Festival, Clay City concert series, Linton Parade, Farmersburg Old Settlers, Clinton Little Italy Festival, Hymera Seafood Festival, Greencastle Middle School Veterans Convocation and new this year, at the Ritz Theater in Rockville during the Covered Bridge Festival on Oct. 16.

The JTCB rehearses at its band cabin and grounds on Melody Lake, north of Brazil.

The band specializes in traditional band literature and is caretaker of the vast Fred Jewell Music Library, bequeathed to Huber and his bands upon the death of Fred Jewell Jr., the son of the famous composer.

Members of the Jackson Township Community Band are Janelle Huber, Shelley Criss, Betty Heine and Jean Penry (flutes), Jack Malone, Bill Morthland, John Boruff, Alice Greenburg, Ralph Stewart and Elise Pratt (clarinets), Robert Pell, John Penry and Gary Van Middlesworth (saxophones).

Also, Richard and Cartha Gustafson, Steve Garlits, Andy Whittington, Allen Basore, Jeff Shively, Charlie Hines, Shaun Woolard and Martin Dixon (trumpets), Darlene Shepard, Betty Niswonger-Green and Miranda Goodale (horns), Ersel Burgess, John Garner, Neil Rissler, Duane Caperton, Brad Ogborn, Jim Stout and Gillian Pell (trombones), John and Norman Hanson (euphoniums), Wayne Parkins, Kay Shaw and Harold Ellshoff (tubas), T.J. Sneddon, Jim Pell, Joe and Joey Dierdorf (percussion) and Huber make up the band.

The band's board of trustees include Huber (president), Melanie Huber (secretary-treasurer) and Andy Whittington, Allen Basore, Dick Gustafson, Steve Garlits and Jim Stout.

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