On Friday evening, July 7th, the Sidney Civic Band will honor Mr. Frank Neville, Jr., the Director Emeritus of the Band. The concert will be on the north side of the Historic Shelby Country court square at 7:00 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held at the Connection Point Church of God (formerly First Church of God), located at 1510 Campbell Road in Sidney. Refreshments will be available from the Connection Point Church’s Relay for Life Team. “Bring a Chair to the Square – because Friday nights never sounded so good!”
This summer is the 40th Anniversary of The Sidney Civic Band. Fortunately, we have a history in Sidney of community bands that date back to the 1860s. From those years, through some ups and downs, a community band was in place until the Great Depression in 1932. At that time, due to the trouble of finding a regular conductor and funding for the group, the Sidney community bands ceased to be. Founded in 1977 by Richard Reidel, Dick Pope, and Frank Neville, The Resurrected Municipal Band became the Sidney Civic Band. Once again it provided local community summer concerts in downtown Sidney. Frank directed and led these highly successful concerts for over 25 years before retiring in 2002.
Frank’s love for music began at a young age while growing up in Sidney. As a student at Sidney High School Frank played in his first dance band at the age of fourteen. He continued to play music with a group of students from the University of Cincinnati, traveling up and down the Miami Valley for concert/ dances.
After graduating from Sidney High School in 1949, Frank attended The Ohio State University in Columbus. Frank is the fourth member of the Sidney High School class of 1949 to join the Hall of Honor. At OSU he composed the musical score for the Scarlet Mask University Production of “Noah’s Ark”. He returned to Sidney after attending OSU and continued to pursue his love and interest of music and began giving local music lessons.
Frank also began playing with a well-known local band and eventually at Piqua Catholic, Sidney Holy Angels and Lehman Catholic High Schools. His highly-decorated high school bands became known for their excellent musical and marching band performances.
After leaving the teaching field, Frank maintained his dance band activities with great success. Frank and his orchestra traveled throughout a seven state area performing and receiving recognition from the National Ballroom Association for their outstanding performances.
The Sidney Civic Band owes a great debt of gratitude to “Frank” (as the members of the band call him) for his perseverance, support, and all he did with and for the band over those 25 years. Paul Workman, of Anna, a well-known musician in the area took over the leadership of the band. A few years later, when he retired, Rev. Phil Chilcote and School Supt. Mike Trego co-directed the band for a year. The following year Chilcote continued as the sole conductor and artistic director of the band.
In the concert honoring Mr. Neville, Chilcote wishes that the band could play all of Frank’s favorites, but time will just not allow that to happen. He has picked out a variety of music that Frank and the audiences really enjoyed. The band is planning to play these marches: Men of Ohio, Vilabella Concert March, and Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Featured selections will include Tiger Rag (Hold that Tiger), Yak Sax, featuring JR Price and Trombone Country, featuring the Trombone Section. Lighter selections include Mr. Sandman, What I did for Love, and That’s Entertainment. Medleys and Longer selections will include, Kazachok, The Good Old USA, Big Band Favorites, and The William Tell Overture. Of course the concert will conclude with God Bless America and our National March: The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Maestro Chilcote said that he is really looking forward to showing gratitude and honor to Frank Neville who passed away last year on August 2nd. The music line up, he believes, is a fitting tribute to a man, who for many years, was known as “Mr. Music” in Sidney and the surrounding counties. His true dedication, passion and love for music have brought Frank Neville overwhelming success and respect from those who were fortunate to know him.