Going on an Adventure

Area Band Plans to Travel to the Netherlands

Local musicians from the Greater Greenwood area will be embarking on an adventure this summer, taking their musical talents overseas to the Netherlands. The Greater Greenwood Community Band (GGCB) will be traveling to the country June 5-12.

The GGCB is an all-volunteer community band and is composed of approximately 80 members, ranging in age from the early 20s to mid-80s.

“The community band is an organization that gives the many members and families a place to continue performing and enjoying participating in music after graduation from high school and many from college,” said Thomas Dirks, GGCB Artistic Director and Conductor.

“It is also an ambassador for the community since every time they play outside of the home, they are representing the community and are recruiters to help draw quality people and families to move to the area. Plus, it is an indicator of the community’s interest in the arts. It also provides free performances that are enjoyed by residences of all ages.”

Regular GGCB performances start in March. Concerts are put on in April, November and December in the Greenwood High School Auditorium. During the summer, they have monthly concerts at Craig Park in the Amphitheater.

Ton Dirks, Mirjam Vermeulen, Rutger Vermeulen, Linda Cook, Oran Pemberto. Mirjam and Rutger are mother and son and lived in the Netherlands before coming to the Greenwood area.

Mirjam Vermeulen and her son Rutger, two of the band’s members, lived in the Netherlands before moving to the Center Grove area. Mirjam plays the French horn, and Rutger plays the timpani drum in the percussion section. When they would go home for visits, they would play with community bands in the Netherlands.

“The director of [the band in the Netherlands] band is also a composer. He sent me one of his compositions. [The Greenwood Band] performed it, and the conversation developed on how great it would be to have the two organizations play together. It grew from there,” said Dirks.

Soon, this trip to the Netherlands was planned. “My mother thought that it would be really cool if we could take a trip to the Netherlands to show them what we could do,” Rutger said. “The community band here could play with the community band there.”

The GGCB is planning on three concerts, some of these in conjunction with local bands. They are considering several sites for their concerts, including the village square and several churches, said Dirks.

“This is the first time that this band has taken on a project of this magnitude,” said Dirks. “They have traveled to some band festivals within the state or to a performance requested by a group in the community where members can drive.”

While they are in the Netherlands, the group intends to do sightseeing in addition to their concerts. The band will be visiting the International Aalsmeer Flower Auction as well as the village of Marken. They intend to take a canal boat ride tour of Amsterdam and visit several museums, the Gassman Diamond Factory, The Hague and the Anne Frank House.

However, the band does need your support to make this trip possible. To help fund the trip, the GGCB has created a GoFundMe page for donations. You can find the page at GoFundMe.com/ggcbtrip, or donations can be mailed directly to P.O. Box 203, Greenwood, IN 46142.

Writer / Alaina Sullivan

Photographer / Ron Stiemert