Music filled the Green Hills neighborhood as two instrumentalists were pedaled through the winding streets of the retirement area in south Ames.
The Aug. 26 event was the inaugural performance of Music on the Move, a collaborative effort between the Ames Community Arts Council and Stephens Auditorium. It’s a project the two organizations hope to see grow and fill Ames neighborhoods with music.
“We’ll drive through the neighborhood playing music, then stop at a place like a parking lot or someone’s driveway and have a concert to go with the parade,” said Tammy Koolbeck, executive director of Stephens Auditorium.
After playing on the streets of Green Hills the evening of Aug. 26, Rick Ennis and Bill Buttermore, the musicians in the group Second Chair Brass, parked at The Lindens parking lot and performed a concert for residents and staff.
John Burke pulled the instrumentalists on a pedicab, a motorized bicycle that hauls a trailer where the musicians were seated. The motor can be used to assist as needed — on hills, for example, but isn’t used during the entire ride.
Music on the Move will feature different musicians and may also have different drivers, Koolbeck said, with the traveling getup going to new areas every two weeks or so, through the end of the October.
“I suppose if we have 70-degree days in November, we’ll find somebody to play and put them on the bike and spread a little bit of cheer,” Koolbeck said.
Future Music on the Move parades and concerts are planned for Northcrest and Somerset neighborhoods.
“We hope to let more people know about this opportunity and get a few spots on the calendar while the weather holds,” said Jennifer Brockpahler, Ames Community Arts Council director. “If anyone is interested in hosting Music on the Move in their neighborhood, they can email [email protected] or call 515-259-0494.”
With Rick Ennis on euphonium and Bill Buttermore on tuba, the concert at Green Hills featured some popular polkas, waltzes, marches, gospel tunes and songs from musicals.
Between songs, they offered commentary on a variety of topics, including features of their instruments, the history of the songs they were playing and details about themselves as musicians.
“This presents a few more challenges than your normal performance,” Buttermore said of Music on the Move. “Our chairs and our stands are bolted down.”
Music on the Move is an opportunity for musicians, many of whom have faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and a loss of gigs.
“I think this was terrific, and our group really enjoyed it,” Joan Herwig, president of the Green Hills board, said after the concert. “The group appealed to everyone here at Green Hills — all the different areas here.
“One of the wonderful things about an event like this is our people who don’t get out very often — maybe they’re a little less mobile or they’re reluctant to get out — they get to sit outside and enjoy the whole view.”