It started last summer when I put together a group of band students (mostly 5th graders with 8th grade helpers) to practice and to perform during the summer of 2022. The 2021-2022 school year had been a year of rebuilding the band program in Gloucester post-pandemic; 5th graders had missed their entire 4th grade year of band because of pandemic cancellations, so they were about to enter middle school in the 2022-2023 school year with only one year of experience instead two. I decided to volunteer my time over the summer to give students a little more time with their instruments before entering middle school. Our group practiced once a week and we opened for the Rockport Legion Band and Cape Ann Community Band concerts during the summer.
Fast forward to December 2022, I was asked to put together a group of students to play Christmas Carols for a fundraiser hosted by the Gloucester Fishtown Horribles Parade. The group included students in grades 5-10, many of whom had performed with the summer band. Our group was then asked to play at the Shaws Grand Re-Opening, and at the Gloucester 400 New Year’s Eve celebration.
Inspired by the positive experiences from both the summer band and the Christmas caroling group, the students and I decided to form an official group to play regularly together for the community. We chose the name Gloucester Student Band (GSB) and made a goal to practice once a month and to perform once a month. We already have gigs lined up at The Linden Assisted Living Center and the Magnolia Community Farmer’s Market, in addition to opening again for the Rockport and Cape Ann Bands and many other future opportunities! We would love to offer free musical performances for nonprofits, fundraisers, and community events, in order to give back to the community and bring our joy and love of music to all.
Funded by Gloucester, MA (May 2023)