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It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas
Silver and Gold Band.jpg
The Silver and Gold Band under the direction of Mike Chilcutt, far left, will be performing two Christmas concerts Dec. 2 and Dec. 16.

The Silver and Gold Band is offering Christmas concerts in December.

“Let us help make your Christmas merrier,” said Wally Bigbee, band president.

On Dec. 2, at 3 p.m., members will be at First Baptist Church, 403 N. Spring Street. This concert will be filled with Christmas favorites like “Christmas on Parade,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

On Dec. 16, at 3p.m. the band will strike up again at Three Star Mall. This performance will include religious and secular selections like “Winter Wonderland,” “Let it Snow,” and “Santa Meets Sousa.”

The McMinnville Silver and Gold Band is the oldest community band of its kind in the state of Tennessee. The band began in 1871 as the Warren House Cornet Band, which was sponsored by the Warren House Hotel and performed for the hotel guests, as well as the community at large. From the band’s beginning as the Warren House Cornet Band to the date of this writing, there has been the continuous and active existence of a community band in McMinnville for 133 years.

During the first 50 years of its existence, the name of the band changed, but the core group of community musicians remained the same. After the Warren House Hotel went out of business, the band was supported by the Southern College of Photography of McMinnville. The founder of the college, Dad Lively, as well as many of the faculty and students became a dedicated part of the McMinnville community band along with other members of the community.

In 1920, the McMinnville Community Band officially became the McMinnville Silver Band. In the 1950s, due to a misquote by a news announcer, the McMinnville Silver Band became the McMinnville Silver and Gold Band. That name has been in use for the last half century.

No matter the name, McMinnville has had a unique community band that has persisted for well over a century. The members of the band are men and women, girls and boys, young and old from all walks of life.

These band members play at county fairs, Fourth of July celebrations, Octoberfest in the park, Pork ‘n Bands, Christmas parades, schools, shopping malls, or patriotic events in surrounding counties or homes. They love to play for all kinds of events, and they persist in giving the people of their community the opportunity to be a part of or hear the music of a hometown band.

If you are interested in joining the band, call Bigbee at 473-5968 or band director Mike Chilcutt at 473-3856.