NORTH MANCHESTER - In 1972, Harold and Mary Louise Leckrone and their daughter, Pat Egolf, formed a band to play for the centennial celebration of the covered bridge in North Manchester.  

Harold recruited many of his former band students from his days of teaching at many of the local schools including Manchester High.  

This celebration was the catalyst to forming the Manchester Civic Band.  

Many of Harold’s former students played with the Civic Band for years after Harold’s passing in 1987.

The band continues to provide live music for public events in the greater North Manchester area and also performs three concerts per year for both Peabody and Timbercrest Retirement Communities, according to a news release from the Manchester Civic Band.

It seems only fitting to celebrate the 50th year of the Manchester Civic Band with a Birthday Party Concert at Ogan’s Landing close to the now 150-year-old covered bridge.  

The concert will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 16 and will conclude with a birthday party.  

Current and formers members of the band are invited to bring a chair and their instrument to join the concert. And everyone present at the end of the concert is invited to join in the party with cake and punch.  

Bring a chair or blanket to sit an listen to the concert or feel free to stroll around and shop at the North Manchester Farmers’ Market while you are listening to the concert.

As is the case with most community or civic bands, the group is made up entirely of volunteers. The Manchester Civic Band welcomes all individuals to join its weekly practices and become members. There is no membership form, no fees, nor sworn obligations, just an interest in music and proficiency on an instrument. Don't worry, they won’t use the word proficient in a generous sense, the news release states.

Practices are open to all and are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the band room at Manchester Senior High School.