Cameron Municipal Band kicks off summer concert series

Cameron’s 157-year-old tradition continues as the Cameron Municipal Band kicked off its summer concert series last Thursday, inside McCorkle Park. 

The Cameron Municipal Band opened the summer concert series with an eclectic mix of musical compositions as an appetizer for the next few months. 

“We love getting back together. It’s been a fun night, a reunion,” CMB Director Ann Goodwin Clark said. 

The CMB is one of only four operating, taxpayer-funded bands in Missouri. It formed in 1866, originally the Cameron Silver Cornet Band, and eventually evolved into its current iteration with the Price Pavilion inside McCorkle Park as their home. 

Clark took over directing duties for a year in 1988. After stepping aside in 1989, she returned as director in 2013 and remained director for the next 10 years. Since the band’s establishment, it attracts some of the area’s top performers and band directors, who often require just a few run throughs an hour before weekly concert.

“They essentially read the concert from 6 o’clock to 7 p.m., then we play it at 8 p.m. Of course, some of the music we’ve played before. We were site-reading some stuff tonight. That last march we played, we site-read it while we played it. These are great musicians,” Clark said. “We have some Cameron kids in here, a couple of high schoolers who just graduated and some in college. I love that part of it. It’s an event, and we love that part of it too.”

This week, the CMB will feature its ode to musical theater with “Lullaby of Broadway” that will feature songs from celebrated musicals such as “Westside Story,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Music Man” and more. Although challenging compositions for any band, Clark said caliber of the CMB makes even the most difficult performances seem easy. 

“We’re featuring American voices, so (Thursday) we’ll have some singers and the audience sing along. We really look forward to that. This is my red Ferrari right here. I am very blessed to be able to direct this band.   It’s an honor and a privilege … It’s like I’m at the wheel of a great sports car and it makes me enjoy (directing) even more,” Clark said. 

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