News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Knight Foundation

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


Metro Parks band plays to the trees, trails and fans
The all-volunteer ensemble has been playing for a decade.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
The Summit Metro Parks Ensemble is an all-volunteer band that plays year round.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

In Europe, it’s not uncommon to find a village – or even a company - brass band.  A British coal mine band was depicted in the 1996 movie “Brassed Off."

Ohio has a handful of community bands and citizen orchestras. But there is one group you might hear while hiking through the woods. The Summit County Metro Parks Ensemble is an all-volunteer group that plays Tuesday evening in the parks.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:42)


The Metro Parks Ensemble doesn’t need a band shell or a stage or electricity. It just sets up its chairs and music stands on the grass somewhere and suddenly people on the trails hear the melodies of say, “Oklahoma” wafting through the trees. 

Every Tuesday evening at 7 this summer, the band has been performing patriotic, Broadway, big band, and Americana music.  Karen Barnett is director of the ensemble, which has been around for about 10 years. She says it has 29 volunteer members, not all from Summit County.

"We have just gathered them up as we’ve gone. Right now we are sort of at our max because when we go out to a place like assisted living we don’t want to be any bigger than we are."
In age, "they range from someone graduating college to about almost 80." 

Strings as well as brass
They are called an ensemble, rather than a band,  because they aren’t just brass. They include stringed instruments.

One volunteer who has been showing up for almost a decade is Barb Jaggers of Munroe Falls.  Jaggers says she didn’t touch her clarinet after she finished college – until she found the Metro Parks Ensemble.

“This was a perfect fit. I came to the first rehearsal and I thought, 'They have no tryouts. I’ll try them out.’  And we sat down and about half way through rehearsal played a Sousa march and I thought, ‘This is my place'.”

The Summit Metro Parks Ensemble plays year round. Tonight’s concert is outdoors at Goodyear Metro Park in Akron. 

Listener Comments:

How lucky the people are to have music like this in parks.

I received this via my friend Jim seiberling who plays tuba in the Ensemble.


Posted by: George van Heerden (South Africa) on August 29, 2013 2:08AM
Thanks for your piece. They really need to get the word out. Their "Music by the Lake" concerts at the Monroe Falls Park and the concerts at Coventry Oaks are well attended but people just didn't know about the "Random Acts of Music". When they played at the Towpath Trail/ Big Bend Skating Area there was a soccer team practicing. After their practice the coach came over and thanked the group for playing.


Posted by: Alison McIntyre (Akron) on August 28, 2013 12:08PM
Just for the record, I just turned 82 years old and have been with the band since it started more than ten years ago. The band is special for me because with me in the band is my wife Mary, son Paul, son John, and John's wife Roberta. It is a great family experience.


Posted by: Bill Wilkerson on August 28, 2013 8:08AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University