Like Rick D. Niece’s other book, Side-Yard Superhero, The Band Plays On: Going Home for a Music Man’s Encore is full of his memories of growing up in small town DeGraff, Ohio. However, the one thing that differentiates the two is the central theme of the memories themselves. While Side-Yard Superhero was about his friend Bernie Jones, with a little bit of his paper route thrown in for good measure, The Band Plays On focuses on the town itself, growing up there, and all of the teachers and other people who helped shape Niece’s life.
The Band Plays On starts with a phone call from a friend (and former classmate) wanting to start an alumni band. Niece’s father, Lewis, served for many years as the high school band director, and to honor him, Lewie’s Alumni Band is formed. Niece then dives right into his childhood (and teenage) memories, going on to describe many of his former teachers, the local shops that he frequented, and remembrances of learning (and re-learning for the alumni band) to play the baritone horn. Each shop has a specific memory attached to it, as does each teacher, and the details described as extremely specific. It’s amazing what gets remembered and what gets forgotten as the years go by!
If you’ve ever played in a school band, love small town life or enjoy reading about what life looks like through someone else’s eyes (or all three) then this is the book for you. One dollar from each purchase goes to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and from now through July 16th each “like” on the Rick Niece Life Lessons Facebook Fan page will also generate a dollar donation to the same charity. For more information or to purchase either of Rick D. Niece’s books, please go to the Five Star Publications Website.
(Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.)