ELKHART — A favorite musical series came to an end when the Elkhart Municipal Band played its last summer concert Tuesday in front of hundreds at McNaughton Park.
The concert, which featured many locals, including Mayor Tim Neese, was the last one in a series that started June 11 and continued each Tuesday.
“It means a lot to see that we have such great support from our community,” band director David Swihart said. “We’re always trying to find ways. Unfortunately, there’s always people, even in Elkhart, who don’t know we exist.”
The band, which is funded by the City of Elkhart, played music ranging from pop medleys to 1930s swing. One of the last pieces the band played included the soundtrack from “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Swihart said he tried to have the band play a variety of music to fulfill different crowd interests.
“They play old style and new style … they play a lot of variety,” said Don Zutter of South Bend, who attended the event with his wife, Donna. They both attended three concerts in this summer’s series and said this last concert was the best.
“It’s a beautiful night,” Zutter said. “It’s a beautiful night to be outside, see the people and listen to (the band). I think the City of Elkhart has a real treasure.”
The band includes instruments from the brass, woodwind, percussion and string sections. Some of the musicians are students in the local high schools.
“I’ve got two young guys, Isaiah and Isaac, that are high school kids who’ve been playing most of the concerts,” Swihart said. “I didn’t think they were going to be here this week. Here they walk in last night and now I have five tubas.”
Swihart joined the band in 1979 and played for the band for 30 years. He became associate director of the band in 2009 and several months later was promoted to director.
The band’s Christmas concert is Dec. 8 at Lerner Theatre. The Christmas concert, like the Summer Series, is free.