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Lehigh concert with music devoted to veterans set for Sunday

November 15, 2012
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

One of Lehigh Acres' best known group of musicians, the Lehigh Concert Band, will perform a musical salute to American veterans, living and dead, on Sunday, Nov. 18.

There will be at least 30 members of the group playing all types of patriotic music. As snowbirds arrive in Lehigh, those who have played during Season before will join the others on the stage at Faith Lutheran Church on Leeland Heights Boulevard. It begins at 3 p.m. and is free to visitors. The show will last for about an hour or more. A basket will be passed around if you want to contribute to help the concert band pay for expenses.

"But we do want to stress that there is no cost to attend our first seasonal concert. There is no costs to any of our concerts and we put on a few during the year with the next one coming up on Dec. 16, which will be our Christmas Show," said Peter Serries, the group's community affairs director.

Lynne Criss is the president of the concert band, but Serries said due to an illness, she may not be able to play at this month's concert.

"We have a lot of great talent here in Lehigh Acres. We hold rehearsals every Tuesday night at Faith Lutheran church and we welcome guests to come, especially those in Lehigh with musical talents and backgrounds.

"We are always looking for new members, senior citizens, middle agers, and even teenagers who are studying music and band in school," Serries said.

"Just show up with your musical instrument. We are a great bunch to be with and we all help each other," he said.

Serries noted that the concert band is in need of more brass and winds instruments, such as the clarinet, the flute, the saxophone and the tuba.

"We know from the large amount of people now living in Lehigh, upwards of 80,000 people that there are some mighty good musicians out there," Serries said.

"We want to show the community how much we all appreciate our veterans at war and in peacetime and those who have given their lives," Serries said. He is the band's number one flutist, but says there are other that are very good that support him.

"We have concerts every third Sunday of the month right into 2013 and we will have them listed in The Citizen in the Of Special Note section, giving people enough time to plan," Serries said.

He said the band is also looking for sponsors in town to help support the band financially. If you can become a sponsor, get in touch with one of the band members or you can call Serries at 239-303-4754.

"Many of our performers were music teachers during their working years. Others were band or orchestra leaders, and yet others played in a band either in school or later with a group. Those are the people we want to join us. They will really enjoy themselves as all musicians do," he said.

The Lehigh Concert Band began in the 1970s, Serries said. And it has continued ever since, proving Lehigh Acres with good professional musicians.

"People don't have to drive to other areas of the county for a concert; they can visit us in Lehigh and enjoy themselves," Serries said.

The concert band has a new conductor this year and Serries said he knows his music. He has had more than 30 year's experience. He is our leader. He is our director and conductor and makes plans for the music in all the upcoming concerts, Serries said.

"The Lehigh Concert Band is a 'community thing' and as such, we really support music and each other and want to see others come and play with us. We do need those brass and winds instruments.

"And we are really hoping to attract young people to keep the concert band playing for another generation," Serries said.



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