COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — From patriotism to celebrating the holidays, the Brass Band of Columbus has been sounding their horns since Dana Rinehart was the city’s mayor in 1984.
One of the original members, Dan King, is still playing the cornet loudly and proudly.
“I started playing in the fifth grade,” King said.
He continued to play all the way through college and taught in Columbus City Schools for most of his career. Now he’s teaching at Otterbein University and is the assistant director of the marching band.
In 1984, he got a call from the founding member of the band to see if King would like to join.
“Paul Droste was the retired Ohio State Marching Band director and was looking for something to keep his interest going in music and he started this brass band,” said King.
King was a trumpet player and converted to the cornet because brass bands have no trumpets.
“I really got into it, it’s a lot of fun,” Kind said. “At the same time you’re teaching, but be able to have an outlet like this to play at a really high level … it kind of recharges your batteries every week, I guess,” he said with a smile.
The band recently played in Hawaii for the 80th Anniversary Remembrance of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor.
“When I retired from teaching I thought to myself, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t want to sit in a rocking chair and just get old,'” he said. “As long as I’m physically and mentally able to play I’m going to go as long as I can.”
While King is still playing, he’s seen members come and go, and the dynamic of the band change.
“During the course of the years, we’ve had a few that have passed on,” he said in a quiet voice. “It’s nice that we have some younger players now, too.”
The band seats 45 members. You can hear them play at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Holy Trinity Church in Upper Arlington. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is suggested.
You can find more events to participate in this weekend here.