After 26 years, Emerson leaving as director of community band

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM.

“I started playing the piano when I was 10 years old. At 16, I was playing around in the churches in Queens, New York, and that’s it,” Emerson said. “Everything was OJT — on the job training. That’s what I did.”

Because of the nature of the transient community of Havelock, the number of participants in the band fluctuates.

“At one point we had about 16, but you’ve got to realize in this area, they come and they go and it’s difficult,” she said. “A lot of our players are older people who are retired and when they go it’s because God wanted them. We’ve lost some and we’ve gathered some and we’ve lost some and we’ve gathered some.”

One of the original members is still in the band, that being Lee K. Allen.

Emerson said the band has played in Swansboro and makes appearances in the Pine Knoll Shores and Havelock Christmas parades, along with playing at Memorial Day ceremonies in New Bern and Beaufort. The band has also played at the Havelock Chili Festival.

And of course they still play at Havelock’s Freedom Festival on the Fourth of July.

 “We have gone around and done everything, and if someone asks for us, we get no pay,” she said. “We are representing the city of Havelock all around. When we go places, people know we’re from Havelock and they appreciate us. We’re not paid performers. We’re just people who like to play and don’t think that they’re good enough to play in the big bands around. A community band is just that, a community band and we help other people in the community.

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