Back in tune: Kyle to play with National Community Band

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, July 7, 2018

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Ashley Kyle

Ashley Kyle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Once a year, musicians from around the country gather to perform a concert as the National Community Band.

Two Wise County musicians will perform with the band at the University of Arizona in Tucson Sunday. Ashley Kyle and Ginger Dillard, both of Decatur, will play with the National Community Band this year.

This is Kyle’s sixth trip to perform with the group. She’s traveled all over the U.S. – to Boston; Ames, Iowa; Las Vegas; Lafayette, La.; and Indianapolis – as part of the National Community Band. She will play the flute.

Kyle joined the band as a way to get back in touch with her musical background.

“My father was a university band director, and my mother was a piano performance major,” Kyle said. “So our family is very musical.”

She grew up playing the flute and piano, but took a break from music to focus on her kids. When they got older, she wanted to join a band again.

“It’s ingrained in me,” Kyle said. “During those hiatus years, I really missed it.”

Her twin sister actually suggested she check out the National Community Band. Kyle already had an in – her father, Jack White, was well known in the band world, including by the United States Marine Band director, Col. John Bourgeois. Bourgeois is now director of the National Community Band.

The band’s yearly performance is proceeded by three days of rehearsal, during which the performers learn new parts or practice music they already know.

“I’ve played things I’ve played in high school,” Kyle said.

Many of the pieces they play are by John Philip Sousa, “The March King,” or adaptations by Bourgeois himself. This year, they’ll perform the Sousa suite “People Who Live in Glass Houses.”

For Kyle, the best thing about performing with the National Community Band is the memories it brings back.

“I love reliving the times I got to play under my dad’s direction, especially playing under someone who knew him,” she said.

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