Many great things come out of Leadership Nevada — a set of classes about everything Nevada, often with a new community challenge for participants.

The Nevada Community Band is one of those great things. During the 1998-99 program, a group of Leadership Nevada participants set out to create a Nevada Community Orchestra. What they got was a Nevada Community Band that has stood the test of time.

Now in its 20th performing season, the band includes 45 performing members, ranging in age from 15 to 75 (and having members as young as 12 in past years). Its membership numbers have grown through the years, as records from 2000 show 31 members.

Concerts have started for the 2019 season, so if you’ve missed the first two, be sure to mark your calendars and not miss all of the others. Concerts are held on Tuesday evenings, starting at 7 p.m., in front of City Hall, and the remaining concert dates are as follows: June 18, June 25, July 2 (Patriotic Concert) and the Nevada Community Jazz Band will perform on July 9.

The band also performs in this summer’s Fourth of July parade.

Nevada High School Band Director Wade Presley has been one of the community band’s directors through all of the past 20 years, and he said he loves being involved.

“I enjoy all the Nevada School band events during the year,” he confided. “One of my goals is to show students and adults that playing music is a lifelong skill. The Nevada Community Band is just another opportunity for musicians of all ages in our community to come together and perform.”

Other directors who have been involved with the band during these years include Nate Fair, retired middle school band director, who conducted from 1999-2013; Christine Heintz, present middle school band director, who has been directing since 2014; and Sue Lekwa, also retired from the middle school music department, who directed in the summer of 2014.

When it comes to residents who have been members of the band since it first started, Presley lists Mike Beaty, Merry Cordes, Dennis Henderson, Greg Madsen, Dave Naughton, Theresa Presley and Shanna Spear. In fact, he said, “Shanna (Bivens) started as a Colo-NESCO High School student and reconnected with the band when she and Sebastian moved to Nevada.”

Presley said he hears from the band members that they really look forward to the opportunity to play in a band and reconnect with the friends they have made over the last many years. “Even current high school band members enjoy playing in the summer as a way to stay in touch with their band member friends when school is on summer break,” he said.

There are always those who played in high school, but are hesitant about their abilities as adults. Presley said many have reached out to him about that concern. “I tell them to come to a practice and see if they like it. Every time the experience of playing an instrument comes back to them, like riding a bike, and they rediscover the joy of playing their instrument and belonging to a community of musicians. We like to say that the Nevada Community Band has an emphasis on community.” Those interested in trying the band should talk to Presley about it. The band is always open to new members.

To be sure they’re ready for each week’s concert, the band practices once a week on Monday evenings.

Support for the band has been consistent and generous throughout its years. Presley said the city has always provided financial support for the community band, and more recently, the band has received business sponsorships for each concert.

Support from the public has also grown over the years. “Attendance has fluctuated a bit,” Presley said, “(but) in the last few years, we have a loyal and consistent weekly audience.”

Fun Facts about the Nevada Community Band:

1. 1998-99 Leadership Nevada’s class project was on the Nevada Community Orchestra (which became the Nevada Community Band). Team members were Rob Bacon, Jim Mattke, Jody Melcher, F.C. Parrish and Cindy Weigel-Garney.

2. Dennis Henderson has been providing the sound equipment, setup and teardown of the sound system since 1999.

3. The band’s mission is to provide an enjoyable performance of musical entertainment.

4. The band is comprised of volunteer musicians of all ages from Nevada, and neighboring communities such as Ames, McCallsburg, Story City and Boone. Each year, several Nevada families perform together. Musicians of the Nevada Community Band volunteer at least two hours each week; a musician who plays all the summer concerts and the July Fourth parade volunteers for a total of at least 15 hours.

5. The Nevada Community Band has performed at four locations in town: A) Story County Courthouse - downtown, 1999-2003; streets were closed off during the concert; B) Memorial Lutheran Church courtyard, 2004-2010, performed inside if raining; C) Nevada Middle School Basketball Court, 2011-2012; performed inside if raining and D) Nevada City Hall, 2013-present.

6. Each year, the Nevada Community Band has received in-kind donations from the following:

City of Nevada (1999-2003, 2013-present)

• Concert performance space

• Use of chairs

• Summer storage for music stands and large percussion equipment (2013-present)

Nevada Community School District

• Rehearsal space

• Use of music stands for concerts

• Use of music from middle school and high school band music library

• Use of percussion equipment, tubas, euphoniums, French horns, baritone saxophones for rehearsals and concerts

• Concert performance space and use of chairs for concerts (2011-2012)

Memorial Lutheran Church (2004-2010)

• Concert performance space

• Summer storage for music stands and large percussion equipment

StuffEnufForUs, owner Cali Smith

• Use of chairs and chair rack (2013)