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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Hometown Band Now More than a Band

Anyone attending the next performance of the Ave Maria Hometown Band should not be misled by the name -- the band has outgrown its name and now includes an orchestra and a beginners' band.

About 55 musicians, from middle school to university students, participate in the band which now is in its third year.

band2The addition of the orchestra, which has 25 students in its first year, has been particularly popular, according to band founder Mary Stuller.

The band has become a regional endeavor, with more than half of the participants coming from outside Ave Maria, including Immokalee, Golden Gate Estates and Naples.

Several AMU students play in the band as well, Mrs. Stuller said, and seven of them are also helping out as assistants. Pictured, Juliana Kimbell on the right gives some advice to Paula Ramirez (center) and Brisa Mejia, both beginning band students from Golden Gate Estates.

"They help us with rehearsals, work with individual students and help with the fundraising aspect," said Mrs. Stuller.

A major fundraising effort currently is under way -- an online silent auction that will offer 100 items, all with a musical theme. One of the prizes is an evening celebration in the Steinway Piano Gallery that can be used for a business event or a party with family and friends. Mrs. Stuller said it is valued at $1,500 and includes music by a pianist for the entire evening plus hors d'oeuvres. To participate in the auction, sign up at the band's website here.

band3The band also has a new music director this year, Alan Moon (left), who directs band programs at the First Baptist Academy in Naples.

Mr. Moon has experience with both bands and orchestras involving students at all ages, Mrs. Stuller said, which made him particularly suitable for the job.

The fall/winter concert will be in the AMU student union ballroom at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and will feature a mixed program of popular music, classical, patriotic and Christmas selections. Seating is limited to 300 people and tickets can be purchased in advance at the band website or at Mrs. Stuller's store in the town center, Ave Maria Inspirations and Novelty Gift Store.

A flyer with more details about the performance is available here in PDF format.


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