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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

New drum, same beat for the Callicoon Center Band

By Jeanne Sager - reporter / photographer

By: Jeanne Sager | Democrat
Jim Newton directs the band from his perch at the front of the bandstand.
CALLICOON CENTER — By Jim Newton's calculations, the bass drum retired by the Callicoon Center Band on Wednesday night has been beaten more than half a million times over the years.
But this summer marks the end of the road for a drum that's long borne the band's logo and helped keep the beat of hundreds of marches, waltzes and the iconic American Patrol played each Wednesday evening in the summers in Callicoon Center.
Estimated to be anywhere from 50 to 55 years old, the drum has been showing its age in recent years. "If you had been beaten in the side 582,450 times, you might want to retire too," long-time band director Newton said with a laugh.
But the non-profit band couldn't afford to splurge on a replacement, at least not right away.
"It's pretty easy to spend $1,200 on a bass drum believe it or not," Newton explained.
But then fortunes turned over the winter, while the band was on hiatus. Instrument maker Ludwig put bass drums on sale, and the band was able to purchase a new piece for less than half what they had expected.
But the drum that's kept the beat for more than half of the band's 83-year-old history couldn't just be thrown away.
Instead band member Fred Fries, a member of the Sullivan County Historical Society, secured a new home for it - right in the County's Museum in Hurleyville - right in the middle of the band's exhibit.

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