Later this year, the Forest Park Band Shell will be covered with a new awning thanks to efforts by a handful of residents.
Brazil Parks Board President Ruthann Jeffries told The Brazil Times Brazil Concert Band Director Matt Huber and the late Jim Dressler approached the board a few months ago to discuss the awning currently covering the band shell.
"Anytime any changes are made to structures in the park, people have to come to the park board to get approval," Jeffries said. "That's all we did was give them approval."
According to Clay Community Parks Association Board member Wilmadean Schepper, Dressler approached her regarding the writing of a grant in order to help pay for the purchase of a new awning.
"Jim and I did the grant and we already have the money," Schepper said.
The money, $10,000, will be used to purchase the awning. Dressler and Schepper began pursuing the grant money in October 2010 and in November, Schepper said Dressler found out the grant money had been secured.
"It was (Dressler's) idea," Schepper said. "He wanted to get a new awning."
"(Dressler) recognized that it was badly damaged and was instrumental to secure the funding," Huber added.
Huber said the current awning is in bad shape and needs repairs.
Both Schepper and Huber said the awning received storm damage, giving reason for a new one.
Schepper added a new awning was needed because the Brazil Concert Band continues to increase in size.
"The current awning is too small," she said.
"The (awning) wasn't the correct size," Huber said. "But there wasn't enough money. We were grateful for what we got."
Huber added the new awning would help improve the acoustics for performances.
"From a band director's point of view, acoustically, it is not good," he said. "Depending on where you sit, the sound can be distorted. "
Huber said the new awning will drape down at a 45-degree angle and will be 6-feet in length, approximately 2-feet longer than the current one.
"This new one will also have a valance (fringe on the front), of 12-inches," Huber said. "That will enhance the sound."
Huber said when the band shell was built in 1937, the band sat inside the shell. He said the smaller band of approximately 30 musicians had no problem sitting in the shell.
However, as the band has expanded in size, a larger awning is necessary.
"We didn't realize (sound) would be an issue," Huber said.
He added this would be the third awning for the band shell.
Both Schepper and Huber hope to have the new awning in place for the first concert of the 2011 season, slated to be called "Seen and Heard," in honor of Dressler.