ENGLEWOOD — Still reeling from the loss of their beloved conductor, Tim Elliott, the Englewood Civic Band gave an inspired performance in his honor Saturday night during the City of Englewood’s annual Holiday Open House.
Elliott collapsed during a band rehearsal Tuesday, November 22 as the civic band prepared for its annual Christmas concert at the Englewood Government Center.
A representative of the band delivered a speech prior to the Christmas concert.
“The Englewood Civic Band family is here this evening with heavy hearts. On Tuesday, November 22 the Englewood Civic Band lost our beloved conductor of 19 years, Tim Elliott, who collapsed and died in our rehearsal room doing what he loved – getting ready to conduct rehearsal for tonight’s performance. This band of musicians was his pride and joy. He told a friend a few years ago something to the effect that he ‘took over an unhappy, frustrated group of about 25 musicians’ and how and now we concert with 40-plus musicians whose talent and dedication he praised to the audience at every concert we played. He was humble in giving the musicians all the credit for playing well as a ‘group of volunteers and an occasional draftee.’ Music filled his heart and soul.
“We will miss him greatly, but we will continue proudly as a community band and strive to maintain the high standard he set for us as a performing group and honor him by playing this concert for you,” she added. “We are joined by his son Justin Elliott, his nephew Marty and their families. Let us briefly bow our heads in silent tribute to a great musician, dedicated conductor, and good friend.”
In his place, longtime band members Clarence Brown and Emily Pray served as guest conductors. Brown conducted the band for the first few numbers before Pray took over. The pair switched roles as conductors throughout the evening’s performance.
After a moment in silence in his honor the band began its performance earlier than normal and played on long after Santa arrived to visit with local youngsters. The concert concluded with a rendition of the holiday favorite “Sleigh Bells” composed by Leroy Anderson in 1948 with lyrics written by Mitchell Parish in 1949. At the conclusion the audience gave the civic band a standing ovation that lasted almost a full minute. It was a fitting tribute to the band Tim Elliott took so much pride in conducting for nearly 20 years. He will be missed by the entire Northmont community.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind