Celebrating America

Published 9:15 pm Monday, July 9, 2012

A crowd packed into Wind Creek Wednesday night for music and a fireworks show.

Wind Creek Casino and Hotel was alive with celebration Wednesday night as crowds packed in to observe Independence day.

The festivities began with the second performance of the newly-formed community band, made up of local musicians from all over Escambia County. As the music entertained guests audibly, Poarch Creek Indians took care of the visuals with a massive fireworks show that could be seen for miles around.

As the fireworks lit the night sky, the band continued playing, adding a soundtrack to the brilliant display of lights overhead.

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Just prior to the fireworks display, Escambia County Band founder, Nolan McAnally, told the crowd the story of the band’s conception and formation and gave an open invitation to other community musicians who may want to take part in the growing band’s success.

“There’s never been anything like this here before I don’t believe,” McAnally said. “I know there was a community band type group about ten or so years ago, but I don’t think it was as large as this one.”

McAnally said the band formed after a friend, and current band member himself, told McAnally his idea for a community band could not be done.

“He told me I couldn’t do it,” McAnally said. “That’s how it happened. And now, look. Look at how fast it has grown.”

Current band member David Gehman said he is proud of the strides the group has made in such a short amount of time.

“They sounded great Wednesday night,” Gehman said.  “They just did such a great job.”

Wednesday’s selections included a medaly of music from famous movies, including “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” as well as “The Star Spangled Banner.”

McAnally said the band is currently working on preparations for a Christmas concert, but is also hoping to play Saturday, July 14 at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, in order to give the east side of the county a taste of the band.

McAnally said anyone interested in joining the band may contact him through Facebook.