Municipal band member starts 41st year with band

Municipal band member starts 41st year with band

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - The Chisholm Trail Municipal Band, which was formed in 1976 played their first concert of the year on Thursday in Fuqua Park.

The band is made up of around 50 members from middle school aged and up. At the concert they played a variety of favorites from rock and roll, swing, movie themes, and a circus march.

Band members have come and gone over the years, but there's still one original member who's still playing. Martha Burger says music has always been a part of her life since she was a kid and said it's her love of playing and her desire to keep playing that's kept her in this band for so long.

Before she joined the community band, she played in high school and then was a member of the Pride of Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma. After college, she sold her bass clarinet because she didn't think she'd play again but when the community formed this group to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States, she couldn't pass up that chance, so she bought a new one.

"It was gonna be one year, but now we're in our 41st year," Burger said.

While they're still playing at Fuqua Park, they've made some changes over the years.

"For a while there, we were playing just marches," she said. "We played a lot of marches, and marches have gone by the wayside a little bit. We still play one or two marches in a concert, but we play a lot of show tunes, and more current things and we have a variety, a huge variety of things pretty much anyone can enjoy."

When the band was formed, it was comprised of adults, but with the addition of Duncan High School's band director as their conductor, they've opened it up to younger musicians.

"It really has helped because it has made our band bigger," Burger said. "It's given us a lot of interaction between adults and kids and, we always have enough players so, that's really been good."

Even though she's been a part of the band the longest, she said she tries not to think about it and just keep playing.

"It's wonderfully unique, and special for Duncan to have this and that's one of the reasons I still wanna keep coming because I wanna keep that tradition going and I think it's important to do that."

Burger said she'll keep playing as long as her fingers allow.

The bands next concerts are at 8 p.m. at Fuqua Park on June 23 and June 30. The last concert will have a patriotic theme.

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