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Keep the band playing on

They're often taken for granted, the members of the Morris Community Band.

They can be seen at just about every community parade, on stage at the East Side Park band shell, or maybe even in a neighboring town.

"They're great people and they make great music," said band director Adair Horgen.

But the band might one day be silenced, nothing but a fond memory, if more musicians don't dust off their horns and get involved, Horgen said.

The Community Band formed in 1980, and some of the members who have played for years are beginning to retire their instruments.

Horgen said she is embarking on a recruiting mission to bring younger talent into the band, and Memorial Day is a good time to begin strongly making the case.

The band will play on Monday, May 25, at the annual Memorial Day program at the Morris National Guard Armory. The band will begin playing at about 8:30 a.m., leading up to the 9 a.m. program.

The band is scheduling weekly practices, but the emphasis is on the enjoyment of playing and being around other musicians, Horgen said.

"It's not high pressure," she said. "If it isn't fun, I wouldn't do it."

And age and skill level are not factors, Horgen said.

"You don't have to be a professional musician to be in a community band," Horgen said. "Fact is, with music, you can do it all your life. You just have to want to have fun. If you want to play, come play. It's a real service to the community and I don't want to see it fizzle out."