The Cedaredge Community Band, affectionately known as "The Grady Bunch," presented a Christmas concert Sunday, Dec. 16, at True Life Church in Cedaredge. Admission was free with attendees encouraged to bring non-perishable food for the food bank.
More chairs had to be set up to accommodate the surprisingly large crowd of 121 people. Director Grady Weiszbrod said he was shocked at the good turnout since he admitted not much advertising had been done.
An offering was also collected to help offset some of the band's costs, such as purchasing music and more music stands.
The Cedaredge Community Band started four years ago after Weiszbrod moved back to the area. Their first meeting drew 18 interested people, of which seven committed to joining. At one point, the group dropped to five and Weiszbrod considered stopping.
Now the band has 21 players, including a piano, drums and six trombones. Weiszbrod said six trombones is "highly unusual" and even had a custom arrangement of "Angels We Have Heard on High" made to accent the trombones.
The band rehearses every Monday night at 7 p.m. at True Life Church. There is "not a great deal of pressure" according to Weiszbrod, nor do players have to be a prodigy to join.
Several players had not touched their instrument in 15-20 years upon joining. But with a little bit of practice each week, they've really excelled Weiszbrod said.
In fact, the song "Sleigh Ride" played that evening was one the group tried last year but "couldn't even touch it" because of the difficulty. "This group has really improved significantly," said Weiszbrod.