Summer Concerts in Gazebo Park returns to bring family fun and musical festivity to the people of Claremore for the 49th consecutive year Thursday.

Jim Tanner, president and longest serving member of the Claremore Civic Band, said he is excited to kick off another season with the great group of friends and volunteers the band has assembled.

Tanner said the volunteers, from high-schoolers to retirees, would probably come to rehearsal even if they never played a concert just for the music and camaraderie.

The volunteers are “all kinds of people from all walks of life,” Tanner said. Some play in other bands throughout the year and some show up just to socialize.

Tanner said practices are open to new musicians, every Tuesday from mid-May through July.

Surprisingly, that gives the band only two weeks to learn and perfect each new set. This week they were forced to improvise, having a saxophonist try to play a part designed for a tubist.

“It’s quite challenging but what we aim for is fun,” Tanner said. Despite the setbacks, their performance in practice had all the quality you’d expect from a much larger, professional orchestra.

The setlist is a secret, though you’re guaranteed to hear them play Johnny Cash’s “Wabash Cannonball” any time the train goes by.

Band Director Chris Mann described the set as “popular tunes that people will recognize.”

This year the concert is supported by both the City of Claremore and the Museum of History.

“The city is very good to us,” Tanner said, which appears to be true as the city has provided the rehearsal and storage space for the band since 1969.

Enjoy the Claremore Civic Band’s free Summer Concerts at Gazebo Park this summer June 14 and 28 and July 12 and 26. Arrive at 5 to visit the museum and take part in fun family activities. The concert begins at 7:30 with a reception with refreshments to follow.