Band serenades city
Donald Young conducts the Clovis Community Band performing Thursday night at the Lyceum in downtown Clovis. CNJ staff photo: Darrell Todd Maurina.
By day, Stephen Quinn wears black robes in 9th Judicial District Court. Four nights a year, however, he wears black formal attire to a different event: the concerts of the Clovis Community Band.
“I’ve played all my life,” Quinn said following the band’s Thursday evening concert at the Lyceum in downtown Clovis. “It’s a great comfort, it’s a diversion, it’s something totally different from the world of law, though I have had police officers come to our practices and ask me to sign warrants.”
Giving adults with prior experience in high school or college band an opportunity to keep using their talents — that’s the reason longtime Clovis High School band director Norvil Howell began the community band, past band president Weede Smith said.
“I’ve been with it since the beginning,” Smith said. “I got a call from Norvil Howell 24 years ago and he said we need to get together a community band for those he had taught band in high school. It’s great to have fun with people.”
Meeting weekly for practice sessions, the 40-member community band draws musicians from as far away as Friona, Muleshoe, and Portales, but most members are Clovis residents. Many in Thursday’s audience said they have been coming to the community band concerts for years.
The band honored four in the audience who were present in 1928 when nationally known conductor John Philip Sousa came to Clovis to conduct two concerts of his band at the same hall that hosted Thursday’s concert.
“We realize Sousa set foot in this community,” said audience member Anita Fite. “There is a history here; that famous man set foot right here in this hall.”
“I come here every year and the people who don’t come here have no idea what they are missing,” said audience member Barbara Voges. “We’re so proud of the people here playing.”