Abilene Community Band shows off talents at Kiwanis Chili Day - Big Country Homepage

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well as their camaraderie.

The Abilene Community Band is no exclusive musical group, according to Clarinetist Amanda Hendon.

"Anybody can come in. All you have to do is play an instrument and a love of music, and you'll fit right in," Hendon says.

Ages range from 18 to 88 years old, and the types of music played range even further, says Band Director Joe Stephens.

"It's always fun when someone comes up and tells you they enjoyed the country-western piece or 'I enjoyed this march,' or 'That classical piece was beautiful,' or something like that," Stephens says.

Some members are equipped with extensive musical backgrounds, while others are dusting off their middle school instruments.

"When we come together, it doesn't matter. Everyone just enjoys being together, and for me, that's what keeps me coming back," Stephens says.

For some, like Trumpet Player Aaron Walling, the band is a stress reliever.

"I'm currently a physical therapy student at Hardin-Simmons and I'll be graduating in December, and it's really stressful, and so I like having this on the side to just have an outlet," Walling says.

For others, like Amanda Hendon, it is a place to call home.

"We have people like myself that are young and may not have family close by, so we kind of get adopted along the way. So, it makes it really nice," Hendon says.

The musicians are giving new meaning to the term "community band."

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