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Movie music to be featured at Community Band concert

The Oakhurst Community Band, nearly 60 strong, will present a free concert featuring music from “Movies & Classics” at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 13, at Mountain Christian Center on Highway 49.

“The music will certainly appeal to all ages with songs from Frank Sinatra to Hans Zimmer, including an arrangement hot off the presses of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’” said Pat Mierkey, one of the four band conductors.

The conductors, all retired music teachers, are sharing the baton for this concert.

Mierkey has 60 years experience teaching and conducting music. Mike Corrigan, who was instrumental in starting the Oakhurst Community Band 20 years ago, has 45 years experience. Former Yosemite High School Music Director Randy Hyatt has 40 years under his belt, and former Minarets High School Music Director Bill Samuelson has nearly 30 years experience.

There are about a dozen Oakhurst Community Band members who are former or current music teachers giving a tidy sum of well over 200 years of musical experience and knowledge.

The directors also play in the band: Corrigan on clarinet, Hyatt on French horn, Mierkey on trombone, and Samuelson on trumpet.

Music selections will include “Classical Gas” featuring Minarets High student Ben Johnson on guitar, selections from “West Side Story,” Indiana Jones’ theme “The Raiders March,” “Guadalcanal March,” the “Superman” theme song and a suite from “Man of Steel.”

“Cantina Band,” “Catch Me if You Can,” and “Swing, Swing, Swing” by John Williams and Henry Mancini’s “The Pink Panther,” “Moon River,” Baby Elephant Walk,” “Dreamsville” and the “Peter Gunn” theme song will also be performed.

Local musician Monika Moulin will be the master of ceremonies and video clips will accompany the music.

“I am really excited about being the MC for this particular Oakhurst Community Band concert, especially since it celebrates music from the movies, a subject close to my heart since I worked for many years as public relations consultant to the world-famous Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Moulin said. “This concert will be such fun - featuring classics old and new, showcasing the great onscreen scores from composers whose work has, just as the saying goes, ‘become the soundtrack to our lives.’”

Four conductors have abundance of musical experience

Each of the four current band directors were involved with music from an early age.

“My father and mother played musical instruments, so I followed their lead,” Corrigan said. “I continued through high school and then volunteered at my old high school, Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. I had no intentions of being a music major but took music courses and played in the band at college. By my third year in college, I decided to switch to a music major.”

Corrigan’s high school soon hired him as an assistant.

“It was a private school, so no credential was necessary,” Corrigan said. “I loved the opportunity to continue my education while applying concepts from my college curriculum. I enjoyed working with the students and developed a great love for creating musical moments with the group.”

“My band director in high school was an inspiration,” Hyatt said. “I became involved in directing and leadership my freshman year. I also participated in church choirs and performance as a freshman and often directed the church choir at age 13. I used to open the band room and rehearse the jazz and pep band when the director was absent or late due to fog.”

“I sang my first solo at age nine in the school Christmas program,” Mierkey said. “I was hooked from then on. I decided to become a band director when I had the unfortunate experience with a very poor teacher. I knew then I could do better. Little did I know that 60 years later I would still be teaching students how to love music.”

“My initial interest was sparked by my mother who was a harpist nearly her whole life,” Samuelson said. “We now have her harp and my oldest daughter is learning to play it. She may play it in one song in the upcoming concert.”

The Band is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation, and relies on business and individual financial support.

Details: (559) 760-3849, www.oakhurstband.com.

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