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Posted: December 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Make a joyful sound

15th annual concert at Eastside High School, Monday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Mandi Singer/

Heavenly music: The Newton County Community Band performs during the Lighting of the Courthouse ceremony Thursday, Nov. 20.

With the economy in the doldrums and wallets feeling the pinch, there’s nothing to lift the spirit quite like a free concert from the Newton County Community Band.

The Newton County Community Band Christmas Concert has become one of the county’s beloved holiday traditions, with musicians from eight counties coming together under the direction of retired educator and community icon T.K. Adams.

"We’re really excited about this concert and excited about the individuals we have in our band," said Adams. "We hope to have a wonderful turn out."

One particular highlight of this year’s concert is the world-wide premier of an original piece written by Philip M. Davis Sr., a retired Atlanta school system educator. The piece, called "Christmas Joy," was started written several years ago, but will be performed in public for the first time on Monday.

"He’s been working on it for some time," Adams said. "We’re excited with him trusting us with that."

Another local musican who will be performing with the band is tenor Scott Daniell, the choir director at First United Methodist Church.

Adams explained that the band’s level of performance has gone up since it started 15 years ago. Back then they would play pieces that were at a level 2. This year, he said, they will be playing a level 6 piece.

"Our musicianship is moving up," said Adams.

The band members have been preparing for this concert since September, dedicating countless hours of practice and time each week. The band is open to a wide range of ages, from high school seniors to an 82-year-old baritone saxophone player. Of the original 42 band members, 10 still remain, and one person – a superintendent of schools in Twiggs County – has been playing with the band for over 10 years, said Adams.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1, at the Eastside High School. Admission is free, as part of the Arts Association 2008-2009 Arts Series and sponsored by The Arnold Fund and the James Hyde Porter Trust.

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