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Adult marching band high school ensemble music education

  • Report: Second Time Arounders

    Mike Lawson | March 12, 2009

    Adult Ensemble Gives Ex-Band Students a Second Chance

    In 1982, Bill Findeison, former high school band director and then owner of Bringe Music in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Herb Mellany, former executive director of the St. Petersburg Festival of States, were having a conversation during which they both wondered aloud, "What happens to all of those kids who used to march in high school bands? So much talent and most of them never get to play or march after high school. We should start a marching band for adults who used to play in college or high school and want to do it again." And that's exactly what they did.

    They placed an ad in the local newspaper for four weeks, inviting people to come to a rehearsal - all they needed to do was bring an instrument, if they played a small one, and all of the large instruments such as bass drums and sousaphones would be provided by a local school. Bill and Herb apparently tapped into something 75 people showed up for that first rehearsal, and the The Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band, better known as the Rounders, was formed.

    Bill guided the band as director, something he still does to this day. At the end of that first season everyone said they wanted to do it again next year. As Bill says, "It was something that clicked and never quit. We have grown from 75 members to 500. Today we still have 15 of the original members from that first year. We have people who drop out for whatever reason, whether it's age or they move away, but we always seem to stay with 500 members, with new people joining all the time."

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