Crista Fodor, a homeschooling mom who plays with the Quincy Concert Band, shares her memories and thoughts about playing the flute. She encourages former musicians to return to their instruments and rediscover the joy of music!
How did you get your start in music?
I began playing the flute in fifth grade, which was traditional at my school. There was a girl a year older than me who played the flute, and I thought she was SO GOOD! When we tried out different instruments at the end of our fourth-grade year, I wanted something physically small but I couldn’t make the clarinet play. To this day, reed instruments and I don’t play nice together!
Who would you consider your biggest early musical inspiration?
The woman who made me into a real flute player is Jan Boland, co-founder of Red Cedar Chamber Music in Marion, Iowa. I’d never heard of her before I took lessons with her in college, but she is an incredible teacher. As it turns out, she has some past connection with Quincy’s own Pam Potter as well. It's such a small word!
What are some ensembles you've played with?
When I graduated from college, the only group I played with was the Park Band. My main break was from 1998 to 2004 when we moved out of the area for my husband’s work. When we moved back to Quincy it was a given that I would rejoin the musical community here. And I have found my place with the Quincy Concert Band.
Do your kids enjoy music, too?
As a homeschooling mom, I have included music in my kids’ education, but not necessarily more than any other subject. My kids have heard plenty of live music over the years, but I didn’t push any of them into music, much less into any specific branch of music. Of my three kids, one has no interest whatsoever, one is a singer and one plays the bagpipes! (We didn’t see that coming at all!) Even with all my musician friends here, we still had to call a local funeral home to find a bagpipe teacher!
What is your favorite part of being a member of the Quincy Concert Band?
I have learned so much from Trent Hollinger, our conductor. The man is simply incredible. He’s always pushing us to do better, but he understands that not everyone is a pro, too. He’s helped me develop musically; I think I’ll hear his voice saying ‘balance and blend, balance and blend’ until my dying day. I also really like a variety of musical styles. If I play any one style too long, I get restless, no matter what it is. Quincy Concert Band showcases a lot of different styles and themes!
What advice would you give someone who has not played with an ensemble in a long time?
The advice I would give someone who has not played his or her instrument for a long time is to not let fear hold you back. Give it another try! Quincy is an amazing place for musicians of all abilities to grow together.
Submitted by Dr. Susan Deege, semi-retired Culver-Stockton faculty and a member of the Quincy Concert Band.
Learn how you can be a part of Quincy Concert Band by visiting quincyconcertband.org.
Arts Quincy would love to have your nominations for students to feature in this new column, Student Spotlight, sponsored by WGEM. Email a photo and information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-222-3432 for details. We look forward to featuring student artists in all disciplines from Adams County.
2019 Grads Share Fine Arts Stories
Hello everybody, my name is Taylor Tweedell and I am Arts Quincy’s Summer 2019 Intern. One of my favorite parts of this internship is getting to work with local arts organizations that impacted my decision to pursue a college degree in dance. Several 2019 high school graduates from Quincy are also pursuing their interests in the arts this fall, and they wanted to share a part of their story with you!
Below you will find stories on Bri Vogel, Josef Lawler, Carrie Terford, Benjamin Makins and Brad Eston.
Every one of these stories has been shaped by the people and experiences within the Quincy artistic community. Thank you to all who have encouraged Quincy students over the years to follow their passions in the arts. If you are not already, get plugged in to a local arts organization to begin impacting others and to become inspired yourself!
University and Major: University of Iowa, majoring in Dance and Psychology Dream Job: Dance therapist
What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Many people in Quincy were and continue to be supportive of my goals, but the greatest impact came from my mother, Malinda Vogel. Whether it was driving me to lessons, doing my hair for recitals, or cheering in the audience, her encouragement has been unwavering. When it came time to decide on a major for college, she pushed me to keep dance in my life. While others doubted my ability to major in dance, my mother believed in me and helped me find the motivation within myself to pursue my passion.
What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? All four years of high school, I was a member of QHS Pom. My senior year, I had the opportunity to be a captain of the squad. Some responsibilities my co-captain and I shared were choreographing and teaching routines. This experience helped me to realize that I enjoy teaching and I find the creative aspect of choreography interesting. This realization opened my eyes to how many different opportunities there are in the dance world besides performing. I was inspired after seeing the many ways I could pursue a career in dance.
University and Major: Lindenwood University, majoring in Cinema Arts Dream Job: Film Director or Producer
What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Megan Buckley and Kathi Dooley have shown me how to express myself in the arts and create things that are beyond imagination.
What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? In High School, theatre had the greatest impact on my decision. It helped teach me that acting is a gateway to emotional release. When you get to pretend to be someone else, take on the full persona, and ignore real life, acting shows you who you truly are. That love for theatre and fine arts pushed me to pursue a film degree.
University and Major: Lindenwood University, majoring in Cinema Arts Dream Job: Casting Director or Talent Agent
What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? My parents have had the greatest impact on my decision to go into the arts. From a young age they would take me to many live concerts, musicals, plays, puppet shows at the library, and of course, movies. They encouraged me to make music a part of my life.
What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Thanks to the encouragement of my parents, I played cello in the pit orchestra for QHS musicals during high school. I had to sit in on countless rehearsals and run throughs, and that made me realize how much I loved seeing a production in the making. From then on, I decided I wanted to be a part of that process rather than just watch it happen. Combined with my love for film, I've decided to study Cinema Arts.
University, Major: University of Iowa, majoring in Music Performance/Music Education
Dream Job: Professor of Horn at a university or college
What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? Kathi Dooley because without seeing her passion for music and the arts, I don’t know if I would’ve stayed in the music department in high school or if I would’ve grown to have as great of a passion for the arts as I do now.
What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp was definitely the experience that set me on a direct path to becoming a music major. Surrounding myself with others who had the same passion for music that I did was the perfect environment to get in the mindset of a future in music.
University and Major: McKendree University, majoring in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis
Dream Job: High School Band Director
What person in Quincy had the greatest impact on your degree path? There were two people, Mr. Gass and Mr. Gabriel. They both pushed me to be better not only musically but also as a leader.
What arts activity that you participated in had the greatest impact on your degree path? Marching band had the greatest impact on my decision to major in Music Education. I chose this path after I became drum major, which is when I realized how much I loved conducting and leading a band.
The word audition is enough to strike fear and trembling in many musicians, singers, dancers and actors. Like any job interview, there are things you can do to help you deal with this process. While, of course, it's important to perform well, there are other things that can help your audition be successful.
Whether it is a high school, university or solo auction, the audition process can be navigated to make you feel more comfortable with the procedural aspects of it. Plus, in our local arts community, we all learn from each other and give encouragement to be the best version of ourselves!
Call for Performers: Many local nonprofit arts organizations rely on volunteer performers to execute a show. Some of these include Quincy Community Theatre, Quincy Concert Band, Quincy Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and others. Make an appointment to audition at least 4-6 weeks before so you have time to practice and perfect your audition piece. Be sure to ask the organization about the requirements for auditions and if they can offer any tips to make it easier.
Preparing for the Audition: Practice makes perfect. Read the script, play the music, sing along, whatever it may be. Be confident in your abilities and you will shine at the audition.
Audition Day: Come prepared. Bring along any materials you may need including an informal resume of your experience (if applicable.) Don't be intimidated by other performers in the waiting area. When you get the role, you are sure to become fast friends and find that you have a lot in common. Remember to breathe and practice any relaxation techniques you have to help you be calm for when your name is called to perform. Do your best and pat yourself on the back for putting yourself out there.
If for some reason you are not chosen for a role, be sure to see if there are other ways you can be involved in the organization as a volunteer. There is always a place for your unique skill set. This will give you an advantage for the next time auditions role around and you will have a relationship in place with the organization.
Find a list of upcoming auditions for adults and youth in the Quincy area below. We wish you the best of luck!
QSOA Auditions: Four Groups Need You!
QUINCY SYMPHONY CHORUS: The Quincy Symphony Chorus is welcoming new singers. The chorus is a fun and talented group of musicians from all walks of life. Musicians this year will have the opportunity to participate in a European concert tour. Auditions will be Aug. 12 at 5 pm. Those who have sung with the chorus in the past are not required to re-audition.
QUINCY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: The Quincy Symphony Orchestra will perform four full programs throughout the season. The orchestra has immediate openings for 2nd and 3rd Horn. Applicants for these positions will be asked to perform a solo example of their choice and orchestral excerpts. Players are needed for all string sections, and additional brass, woodwind and percussion players are needed for works with larger instrumentation and for the substitute list. Instrumental auditions will be Thursday evening, Aug. 29.
QUINCY AREA YOUTH CHORUS: Singers in grades three through 12 are invited to audition for the Quincy Area Youth Chorus. QAYC includes girls and boys with unchanged voices in two performing groups: The Kinderchor for the younger singers and the Concert Choir for older members. Auditions for the QAYC will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 10 am.
QUINCY AREA YOUTH ORCHESTRA: The Quincy Area Youth Orchestra will hold auditions for its 2019-20 season in early October. All new and returning members must audition. QAYO candidates must be in grades 7-12 and have at least three years of playing experience (qualified 6th graders will be considered).
All singers and musicians should prepare a short solo of their choice that will display their musical strengths. Set up an audition time with QSOA by calling the symphony office at 217-222-2856 Monday through Friday or email email@example.com.
QCT Auditions: The Boxcar Children
Based on the beloved book series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, The Boxcar Children follows the Alden children who have just been orphaned. Knowing they will go to different foster homes, they escape to the woods and make their home in an abandoned boxcar, but someone is desperate to find them. The Boxcar Children is a powerful story teaching us that home can be anywhere as long as you have your family by your side.
Diverse roles for this large cast include the Alden siblings, a caring social worker, a friendly local doctor, an ensemble of townsfolk and more.
Auditions are August 24 and 25 for students grades 3-12 and men and women ages 18 and over. Performances are October 24-27. Daytime matinees for local schools are October 22.
Online registration, detailed audition requirements, audition tips and character descriptions will be available at 1qct.org/on-stage/auditions. Audition appointments may also be made by calling 217-222-3209.
Quincy Concert Band
The award-winning Quincy Concert Band is a non-auditioned group and accepts wind and percussion players of all abilities. To join the group, email Dr. Trent Hollinger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rehearsals begin Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 pm at Baldwin Elementary School. The fall concert will be Sunday, Oct. 27 at Quincy Junior High School. Learn more at quincyconcertband.com.
Quincy University and the Great River Watercolor Society (GRWS) will host the 2nd annual Shade Tree Mid-Summer Paint-Out on Saturday, July 27 starting at QU’s campus.
“The Shade Tree Paint Out has become an ongoing gathering of Plein Air painters of regional renown,” said Larry Siwek.
Registration for the competition is $35 on the day of the event. Artwork will be created outside, on location and within the Quincy city limits. All painting and drawing mediums are accepted. Participating artists will be eligible to have their artwork judged and compete for cash prizes. Artwork must be turned in at 4 pm, installation ready. During the judging, a Quick-Paint will be happening on campus and artwork may be entered in a separate judging category.
“With a considerable cache of awards, and several planned purchase awards, the Shade Tree Paint-Out gives participants multiple chances to win,” said Jamie Green.
The day will conclude with the Shade Tree Art Patrons Dinner at 6 pm in the Quincy University Cafeteria (1800 Lind St.) with a gourmet meal, art awards and art show. Artwork will be available for purchase. Participant's meals are included in the cost. Tickets are $25 per person and can be bought at the door, or in advance by calling 217-228-5209.
All proceeds will benefit the participating organizations: QU alumni association, QU Art Department and the Great River Watercolor Society. For more information or to register for the event, contact Jamie Green at 217-617-3729 or Larry Siwek at 217-440-0630. For more information on the Great River Watercolor Society, contact Karl Warma, GRWS president at 217-228-5432 ext. 3153 or email@example.com.
Hello everyone! Last week I had the opportunity to speak with some of the cast members and creative directors of The Muddy River Opera Company’s rendition of Aaron Copeland’s, “The Tender Land”. The show will be performed by the company on June 14that 7:30 pm and June 16that 3:00 pm in the Orr Auditorium at John Wood Community College. “The Tender Land” follows the story of a maturing young woman named Laurie Moss who just graduated from high school. Laurie longs to venture out of her comfort zone and explore the real world. The plot emphasizes the importance of family and friends. Several of the cast members and creative directors in this production have participated in other MROC performances over the years. Let’s meet the dedicated people who are bringing “The Tender Land” to life right here in Quincy, IL…
Mark Gilgallon has been performing with the Muddy River Opera Company since 1990 and is returning to MROC for the first time since 1998. He will be playing the role of Grandpa Moss in “The Tender Land”. This character in particular is one that Gilgallon is very familiar with; he has performed it 2 other times, the last of which was in Quincy in 1995. Gilgallon is delighted to be playing Grandpa Moss for a third time, as he is one of the oldest in the cast and now a grandfather himself. These experiences have helped him to better understand the role, and he is looking forward to performing for you this weekend.
“The Tender Land” not only has amazing returning cast members, but the show also features a musical team that is experienced with The Muddy River Opera Company. The choral director for the show is longtime MROC chorus master Paul Shelor. Shelor said, “It is a delight to be a part of the musical side of a show with the right people, and this opera has lots of talented, enthusiastic, and quick learners in its cast”. The conductor for “The Tender Land” is Dr. David Galant. He said that his job is to bring music to the forefront of the show as well as to make the music flow with the storytelling. Galant strives to make the music and the acting 50/50 in all of his shows at MROC, “The Tender Land” included. This will be Galant’s fourth year with the Muddy River Opera Company.
If you have never seen an opera before, this production is a great first opera experience because the show is in English and the cast has great enunciation. Gilgallon says, “‘The Tender Land’ is a real-life story with lots of action in the second act of the show. The score by Copeland screams Americana as well”. Be sure to come see MROC’s production of “The Tender Land” on June 14that 7:30 pm or June 16that 3:00 pm in the Orr Auditorium at John Wood Community College.
Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Tweedell, and I am back for another incredible summer with Arts Quincy! I'm so thankful for the lessons that I learned from this awesome organization last summer, and am looking forward to gaining more new skills throughout the next couple months. This past school year, I was able to apply last summer's experiences in my college coursework, and further build my knowledge base. I am very excited to bring my newly-acquired expertise to Arts Quincy.
One of the most exciting things that happened to me this past school year was declaring a Dance Management major. This degree allows me to not only take dance courses, but also technical theatre, non-profit, and for-profit business classes. This is a degree and career path that was heavily influenced by my time with Arts Quincy last summer! I am very grateful for the opportunity to come back and work with this dedicated team once again. This fall I'm looking forward to learning more about backstage responsibilities and non-profit management when I return to school.
Until then, if you see me at events this summer please be sure to come say hi! I would love to meet all of you. I will not only be writing blogs, but also writing pieces for the AQ magazines that will be published within the next year. I am also looking forward to running the Arts Quincy Instagram this summer, so be sure to tag Arts Quincy in your posts as you enjoy a summer full of artistic opportunities here in the Q. If you're on Facebook, be sure to follow Arts Quincy so you can catch me live at fun arts events around town. I am so ready to get to work with this amazing organization again this summer. Thanks for checking out my blog!
The Quincy Park Band, under the direction of Keith Wiemelt and Director Emeritus Pam Potter, kicked off its 71st season of summer concerts in Madison Park on Memorial Day.
The hour-long programs are geared to entertain audiences of all ages. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. People often bring a picnic supper and drinks as they enjoy the concerts.
Don't miss concerts on Sunday and Wednesday evenings in June at 6:30 pm at Madison Park.
Themed concerts include the annual Flag Day Concert on Wednesday, June 12 with patriotic music. The Father’s Day Concert on Sunday, June 16 will feature selections geared towards the fathers in the audience. The Big Band Concert will be Wednesday, June 19 and the month of June will round out with the annual Pops Concert on Wednesday, June 26.
The July concerts will begin with patriotic music and fireworks at the annual Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, July 4 on the beautiful grounds of the Illinois Veteran’s Home. This concert begins at 7:30 pm and will be followed by a fireworks display.
The band will return to Madison Park on Sunday for concerts on July 7 with the crowd favorite, the Nauvoo Pageant Bagpipe Band. The last two summer concerts will be on July 14 and a bonus concert on July 21.
In December, the band performs an indoor show of holiday songs at The Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Musicians interested in playing in the band should call 617-299-7153 for details. For general information, visit quincyparkband.com.
In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held in the Kroc Center Worship Theatre at 405 Vermont St. Rainout announcements will be posted on the group's Facebook page and are available by phone at 573-312-0637.
Quincy Sister City Commission is celebrating over 30 years of cross-cultural outreach with Germanfest! The event will take place from 5-11:30 pm in Quincy's South Park on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 2 from 3-11:30 pm.
Dance to German music including waltzes, polkas and foxtrots with the Heidelberg German Band on Friday from 5–8 pm. Then stay for local favorites Raised on Radio. On Saturday, the Waterloo German Band will start things off at 3 pm with their traditional German style and Raised on Radio will be back to finish out the festivities.
In addition to traditional German food, and fun family activities, the festival features specialty craft beers and wine in the new beer and wine tasting garden. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. Bring your appetite because some of your favorite menu items including thueringer, weisswurst, kraut and potatoes, and brats will be available for purchase.
Children will be entertained with free games and activities during Kinderplatz on Saturday from 3–7 pm.
Attendees are welcome to use the shuttle service from the parking lot at Quincy Notre Dame High School to and from the festival at the park.
Proceeds from the event support the German language classes at Quincy High School and Quincy Notre Dame as well as Quincy University's Soccer team's Quadrennial trip to Herford, Germany and this summer's Quincy University Chamber Choir German concert tour. The festival also supports activities for adult and student guest programs.
You are invited to bring the family, raise a stein, polka the night away and discover your German heritage to make the festival YOUR family tradition!
Arts Quincy honored the recipients of the 2018-19 George M. Irwin Art Awards during its annual meeting with an award ceremony on Wednesday, May 1 at Quincy Museum.
“Quincy is full of talented artists and performers enhancing our daily experiences with arts and culture across the city,” said Executive Director Laura Sievert. “Through the work of these dedicated and inspiring individuals and groups, the arts have become more accessible, visible, interactive and integrated into the lives of our residents and visitors.”
These awards are designed to recognize the hard work and dedication of these outstanding individuals and organizations. This year, several new categories were added to recognize the many roles each person or organization plays in the promotion of the fine arts.
Winners of the George M. Irwin Art Awards are chosen by a committee based on criteria that demonstrates impact, leadership, engagement, and innovation throughout the community.
George M Irwin Art Awards: Sponsored by WGEM, The Quincy Herald Whig and the Oakley Lindsay Foundation
Outstanding Fine Arts Teacher of the Year: City of Quincy
Keith Wiemelt – The Salvation Army Kroc Center: This award is given to an educator that has made a significant contribution in any artistic discipline through outstanding educational programming and other leadership activities. Keith Wiemelt is a native of Quincy and graduated from Quincy Notre Dame High School in 1997 and received a Bachelors of Science degree from Quincy University in Music Education in 2002.
Keith was hired as the Education and Fine Arts Specialist at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in June of 2018. He was previously the director of Bands at Quincy Notre Dame High School from 2011-2018. He taught from 2002-2011 at the Ralls County R-II School District in Center, Missouri. Besides teaching, Keith can be seen conducting the Quincy Park Band, playing with the Heidelberg German Band, Quincy Community Theatre, 12th Street Brass Quintet and the Muddy River Opera Company.
Keith and his wife Bonnie have been married 10 years are the proud parents of 9 -year-old son Emmett, 7-year-old daughter Belle and 2 year old son Gideon.
Outstanding Fine Arts Teacher of the Year: Adams County
Lexi Brumbaugh: This award is given to an educator that has made a significant contribution in any artistic discipline through outstanding educational programming and other leadership activities. Lexi has taught art at Unity High School in Mendon for 10 years. She has served as cheer coach, dance coach, class sponsor and is currently the yearbook sponsor and art club sponsor. Lexi has applied for and won numerous grants that have been used to purchase art supplies, a kiln and take field trips. Lexi is involved with Quincy Art Center as a member and instructor and has volunteered with Q-Fest. She is married and has two children and resides in Quincy.
Arts Access Leader of the Year
Carlos Fernandez – WGEM/QMI: This award is given to a person making a significant effort to increase fine arts access and connect existing programs with people in under-served parts of the community including those who are living below the poverty line, the differently-abled, military veterans, the elderly and minorities. Carlos has 45 years of experience in broadcasting. As the Vice-President and General Manager for Quincy Broadcasting, he oversees the day to day operations of the WGEM stations including NBC, FOX, CW and MeTV, 105FM and ESPN 1440/98.9FM, as well as a website and mobile platforms. He has resided in Quincy since 2007. His career began in 1974 as a studio camera operator in Topeka, KS. Over 13 years he was promoted and led to become the station manager in Columbia, MO. He served as a television consultant for several stations in the US and abroad. Carlos was also a lead sports cinematographer for NCAA for 11 years and worked on a number of live events for the top US TV networks.
Carlos has been actively involved in professional and community organizations throughout his career including terms on the ABC Affiliates Board, President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board Member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, President of the Missouri and Illinois Broadcasters Association. In his years in Quincy, he has been a co-founder and the Chairman of the Great River Honor Flight Board, served and serves on a number of boards including Quincy Community Theatre, Chaddock, American Red Cross, Advocacy Network for Children, United Way, Quincy Chamber of Commerce, GREDF, Quincy Parks Foundation, Junior Achievement, Looking for Lincoln, Quincy’s Fourth of July celebration and Arts Quincy.
Arts Volunteer of the Year
Kelsey Deters – The District: This award is given to a volunteer who has consistently supported the arts through a commitment of personal time, energy and devotion. Kelsey is the Assistant Director of The District in Quincy. Thanks to her mother, Beth, Kelsey has been involved at Quincy Community Theatre almost since birth, volunteering backstage, on stage, and in front of house roles. Kelsey attended Quincy Senior High School where she was an active member of everything she could be that had to do with theatre and music. She is on the Board of Directors for the Quincy Civic Music Association, the Steering Committee and Marketing Committee for Q-FEST, and in fall of 2018 she competed for in the Battle for the Baton Fundraiser to benefit Encore Quincy and the Quincy Symphony. Kelsey also loves to volunteer for Arts Quincy. “AQ is such a wonderful organization that helps make sure that everyone in our community has access to the arts,” she said.
In her free time, Kelsey enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends, family, dogs, and boyfriend, Brodie (who she met at the Arts Quincy Annual Meeting last year).
“I am so proud of the thriving arts community in Quincy,” she said. “I would not be the person I am today without the tremendous amount of exposure to the arts I have received my entire life in Quincy.”
Arts Nonprofit of the Year
Washington Theater: This award is given to a nonprofit organization that has made a substantial impact on the cultural development of this area demonstrated through exceptional artistic achievement, outstanding programming or other leadership activities. Named for the historic park which it faces, the Washington Theater opened in 1924 in downtown Quincy. It was one of many vaudeville and movie houses on Hampshire Street, and the only one that is still standing. Over the years, the theater was sold, fell into disrepair and was eventually donated to the City of Quincy. The Washington Theater Redevelopment Commission, established in 2004, created Friends of The Washington Theater, a volunteer nonprofit organization, to help raise money to return the landmark movie palace to its former splendor.
With financial support from the Quincy community and others interested in the preservation of historical theaters, the commission is actively generating funds to enable the project to move forward. The theater hosts special events throughout the year to raise funds.
Today, the commission is working toward the goal of commissioning an architectural plan that will reveal the intended use, design, calculation of cost, building process and other important documentation. Once in-hand, major fundraising will begin. Projected costs are estimated between 5 and 8 million dollars depending on the scope of the project.
Major fundraisers this year include Free Fallin: Tom Petty Tribute Concert on May 4, Music to Remember on September 27, Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 27 and a Trivia Night scheduled for September.
To learn more about the Washington Theater visit quincywashingtontheater.org.
Philanthropic Leader of the Year
Exchange Club of Quincy: This award is given to a local business or individual making a financial commitment to the arts in Adams County. The Exchange Club of Quincy was vital to the success of Arts Quincy’s Made in America Veterans Art Program in 2018 and 2019. The Quincy Exchange Club sponsor activities under the organization’s Program of Service: Americanism, Youth Programs, Community Service, and its National Project, the prevention of child abuse. Each year, Quincy benefits from the promotion of pride in our great country, college scholarships, youth mentoring, service to the underprivileged, and other services tailored to serve the needs of its citizens.
The Quincy Exchange Club’s Flags of Honor Program helps promote the proper and more frequent flying of the flag in our community. Recently you may have seen their 1000 Flag Field of Honor display in Madison Park on Veterans Day. It’s through the funds raised through this program that they donated to help underwrite Arts Quincy’s Made in America: Veterans Art Program.
Quincy Concert Band would like to introduce you to its president John Schneider. Here is a Q & A, submitted by Susan Deege.
You have been serving as the President of the Quincy Concert Band for a couple of years. What motivated you to get involved beyond being a musician? I have been performing with the Quincy Concert Band for 16 years, and I have always thought that our band was a hidden gem in our community, with a loyal audience. I wanted to see what we could do to expand our reach and make more people aware of the fabulous free concerts the band performs twice each year. We have long been confused with the Quincy Park Band (which is a separate organization) and many people often presume that our concerts are traditional community band fare like show tunes and marches. In reality, we are performing elaborate and challenging symphonic works, and many weeks of rehearsal go into each concert. We have won awards on a national level for the quality of our performances. As the QCB president, I have worked to improve our visibility in the community, improve our organizational structure, and enhance our financial base. Fortunately, I am enjoying the support of a great board of directors and so I believe we are succeeding on all levels.
When did you start playing the trombone? Do you play any other instruments? When I was eleven, my family moved into a house where the previous owners had left behind an old upright piano. I started tinkering on the piano, which encouraged my parents to invest in piano lessons. I then also began playing the trombone when I was in junior high school. I belonged to the school band and a drum and bugle corps during my high school years.
I don't play the piano much anymore, but I really do enjoy making music with my friends on the trombone. Actually, I think both instruments were important to my development. Nothing teaches you basic music and chord theory as well as a piano, but it's mostly a solo instrument. On the other hand, playing in a band or orchestra teaches you collaboration and teamwork. In a 70-piece concert band, no one is a star.
With what other groups do you play? Locally, I have played with the Quincy Park Band and the Big River Swing Machine, and also led a group called the Dixie Dads until we disbanded last year. This past winter, I enjoyed playing Christmas music with Band on a Bus, a new brass band in collaboration between Arts Quincy and the Salvation Army. Additionally, I spend a lot of time in Michigan during the summer, where I play at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, with the Holland Legion Band and also with a German band called Ein Prosit. I also love to play traditional Dixieland music and I have made many trips to New Orleans to play at a jazz camp there.
You have combined your love of playing music with travel. What are some of your most memorable music experiences during your travels? I made three trips to Europe to perform with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Adult Band, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. Our performances were always enthusiastically received by local audiences and we stayed in the homes of musicians from the community bands that sponsored our visits. My most memorable performances were playing beneath the statue of Michelangelo's "David" in the main piazza in Florence, and performing in front of the national palace in Brussels. But I think my greatest memories are of friendships with our host families. I still keep in touch with several people there!
Who has influenced you musically? Is your family musical? My immediate family was not musical. My greatest mentors have been Quincy trombonist Bob Havens; Trent Hollinger, the Quincy Concert Band's talented conductor; and the amazing professional jazz musicians who are instructors at the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp.
What advice would you give a person thinking about pulling his or her instrument out of the closet after a long break? They need to be patient, and allow their skills to come back slowly. It will take time. I stopped playing the trombone after college because there was no place to perform and life got in the way. After I moved from the West Coast to Quincy (which is an amazing musical town) I was encouraged by a friend to start playing again, and she even lent me a trombone. When I joined the Concert Band, my first reaction was that it was so far beyond my skill level that I couldn't do it. But I stuck with it, improved little by little, and have since gone far beyond my college years in my skill set and musical knowledge. The Quincy Concert Band does not hold auditions, and any adult who wants to play is welcome. That opportunity doesn't exist in most communities, and so local residents should take advantage of it if they're interested!
Other than playing, what are some other ways that people can get involved with QCB? Fundraising is a continuous challenge. It costs about $13,000 a year to operate the band, and this is entirely funded by community donations and fundraising events. We do not charge admission to any of our concerts and there is no cost to the musicians for performing, so all our revenue must come voluntarily from the community. Fortunately, band members are stepping up to help when needed. But we would also welcome any non-musicians who want to become a volunteer for our fundraising events, or can offer special skill sets such as legal, accounting, publicity or website development.
Are there any changes in the works for the Quincy Concert Band? Yes, we are looking towards growth and expansion. Since its formation in 1982, the band has performed only two concerts a year. We are now talking about giving additional concerts in nearby communities, and of forming smaller ensembles drawn from our musicians that can perform a variety of musical styles at smaller public and private events. We have already entertained at a few events with low brass and woodwind ensembles, and we hope to make this a regular activity!