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Music with wizards, dragons and hobbits, oh my

Band schedules free concert Aug. 13, costumes encouraged



ROSWELL, Ga. — Calling all fantasy fans – the Atlanta Concert Band is performing a free concert Aug. 13 with music from movies like “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” And what’s more, costumes are highly encouraged.

“We’ll have some of the same people who go to Dragon Con in costume with us,” Music Director Paul Scanling said. “Last year, we had Darth Vader on stage with some Stormtroopers as we played ‘The Imperial March.’”

Members of the band will join in the fun by wearing fantasy costumes as they perform.

The Atlanta Concert Band is a nonprofit group that can trace its roots back to 1959. Each year, they put on free concert shows in and around the metro Atlanta area. They’ve performed at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center every year in August for more than 20 years.

For the last several years, the Roswell Cultural Arts Center performance has been a family pop culture concert, Scanling said.

Past shows have included music from Star Wars and cartoons.

Their performances include everything from pop song covers to Memorial Day concerts.

The group is made up of mostly amateur musicians, including doctors, lawyers and pilots.

“It’s mostly people who were playing instruments in high school and wanted to keep playing,” Scanling said. “This is an opportunity to keep it up and encounter a wide variety of music.”

A wide variety of age groups have joined the band, with members as young as 20 and as old as 80, Scanling said.

The band consists of woodwinds, brass and percussion.

Scanling has been the music director since 2010 and is the fourth person to hold that position. He’s been teaching music for more than 20 years. When he isn’t with the band, he teaches part time at Oglethorpe University and has recently started his own professional orchestra.

“I like having a wide variety of music to play,” Scanling said. “Not just the serious stuff. We’ll still play ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ each year and have a good time with it.”

The band aims to introduce people to the importance of music and to encourage an appreciation for the art.

“We play a lot of concerts like this where there are a lot of little kids,” Scanling said. “We love to bring them onstage and show them the instruments, let them try it. They are going to be the next generation of kids to become music lovers and players and continue that American tradition of the community band.”

To learn about the Atlanta Community Band, their upcoming shows and to donate, visit

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