I’m a sucker for a brass band in a small town on a mild summer’s day. I got what I wanted early one afternoon this month, when I photographed the Chautauqua Community Band and an appreciative crowd in Bestor Plaza at the Chautauqua Institution.
The architecture of this upstate New York village founded in 1874 is as picturesquely American as you can get. So was the band’s bill of fare—mostly Broadway tunes, along with John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March.”
That afternoon, I had to work on some writing that required the use of Chautauqua’s library, so I could not linger outside, much as I wanted to. But for several minutes, I smiled as the band, under the direction of Jason Weintraub, played the bouncy ragtime rhythms of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” and my heart lifted and kicked to the joyful strut of Marvin Hamlisch’s climax to the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line, “One (Singular Sensation).”