by Oda Lisa, published in The Wimberley View 2/2/23
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Hill Country Community Band will present a “Young at Heart” themed concert later this month. The free event will take place on Sunday, February 12, at 2 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Wimberley. The program’s selections include a number of pop medleys and marches.
“I am now in my second year with the HCCB,” HCCB director Manuel Arambula, Ph.D., said. “It has been a great and rewarding journey so far. I love the collaboration with the musicians and how well they respond to my musical expectations. I am beyond proud of the work we have done so far,” he continued. “I truly believe the HCCB is one of the finest musical organizations in central Texas. The type of literature that we have done in the last year is of very high caliber and the band has done an extraordinary job at performing very demanding music. Nearby musicians don’t have to travel very far to play some of the finest music in the band repertoire; we are doing it all in the HCCB!”
Referring to his selection process, Arambula said, “I looked for compositions that dealt with children, youthful themes and popular genres from the last few decades. I believe that melodies are supreme in a musical program. Audiences love tuneful selections.
Some of those selections have a special place in his heart, Arambula said. “It’s overall a great program, but I would have to say ‘The Lion King’ is one of my favorite childhood films and I love the music very much.” he said. “It is very nostalgic for me and it is a very well done arrangement. I believe the audience will love it as well.”
“Sleep Gently, My Child”, by Johannes Brahms, is the composition which inspired him to choose the particular theme. “When I was 21 years old, I was selected as the assistant conductor of the McAllen Symphonic Band, a very fine community band in South Texas,” Arambula explained. “I was the youngest person ever to have conducted the organization. The first piece I ever conducted was ‘Sleep Gently, My Child.’ I wanted the program to revolve around children, our inner youth, nostalgia, and happy memories.”
The performance will include medleys of Beatles hits, Walt Disney movies and the “Mother Goose” March – on Nursery Rhymes”, by John Philip Sousa.
“I believe there is at least one musical selection in this program for everyone that takes them back to their youth,” Arambula said.
The HCCB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose musicians are volunteers from the Central Texas area. To keep up with the band’s concert schedule and more, visit hillcountrycommunityband.org.