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Published: Wednesday, 6/4/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

Genoa American Legion Band plays Olander Park − rain or shine

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Mariam Wuwert, front left, and Barb Farley, front center with red pants, attend the Sunset Serenades, an outdoor concert for area residents at Olander Park. Mariam Wuwert, front left, and Barb Farley, front center with red pants, attend the Sunset Serenades, an outdoor concert for area residents at Olander Park.
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Everybody loves a band, and a little rain today did not change that.

Director David Smith struck up the band -- the Genoa American Legion Band -- for a two-hour performance at the summer‘s inaugural Sunset Serenades Concert at Olander Park. The 40-piece band played on despite the rainy weather that forced the concert indoors.

“We were very happy to be here even when we found out it is inside, because we love this band,” said Erma Langenderfer, 85, of Berkey, who came with her sister-in-law.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sunset Serenades at Olander Park

The concert series usually takes place on Olander’s green lawn near Nederhouser Community Hall and has about 100 to 150 guests listening to live acoustic and big band music.

“It was formed by returning Civil War veterans in the late 1860s,” Mr. Smith told the audience about the band‘s history.

He said that one member, who could not perform today, was a World War II veteran who has been in the band for more than 70 years, half the band’s age. Many band members are military veterans, he said.

American Legion Band director David Smith shares stories with the audience. American Legion Band director David Smith shares stories with the audience.
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The band kept with its patriotic roots, beginning the set with “The Star Spangled Banner.” Berkey resident Barb Farley, 86, along with about 40 other concert goers, jumped to their feet to salute the American flag.

Fittingly, that was followed by the energetic George Gershwin piece “Strike Up the Band,” followed by a patriotic marches of American composer John Philip Sousa.

The free concert series continues from 7 p.m. to dusk every other Wednesday through August 13. On June 18 KMB3 Trio will perform and July 2 the performer will be Extra Stout. 

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.



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