Newton-Jasper Community Band plays final performance

After 35 years, the community band is dissolving due to lack of numbers. It's a bitter sweet moment for many who participate.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 10:23 PM

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. - The members of the Newton-Jasper Community Band played their instruments for the last time Monday night. The band is dissolving after 35 years.

"In 1985 there was a call out for the band by its founder, Joy Stowers from Rensselaer," said the band's current director Linda Vaughan. "I played trumpet for many, many years."

The band has had an illustrious career. It played for former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniel's campaign and later his inauguration. It played for a large crowd for Sarah Palin and played at Disney World in Orlando three times. The band peaked more than 60 members about 10 years ago, but since then it's been hard to keep people around.

"Our percussionist is about to go to college, we have members who have young families who just don't have time anymore," she said. 

People of all ages came out to South Newton High School Monday night to hear the band's final performance and get in the Christmas spirit.

"Jingle Bells was Joy's favorite, so we always play it honor of her," said Vaughan of the bands former leader.

The band was also made up of people of all ages, including Vaughan's grand kids. She said this is a bitter-sweet moment for them all, but that she's grateful for all the years that she's had as part of the group. She said it's been a great way to continue her love of music and to share it with those she loves.

"Just getting together and the camaraderie and musically playing together," she said. "It's just been a wonderful thing and we're like a family."

She hopes that one day in the future, someone will bring the band back together. 

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