HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (July 8, 2015) -- Many of the 14 musicians who are in Wind Crest's band, the Windy's, have never played their instruments in decades. But this has not stopped them from now performing to standing ovations.
Barrett Hargreaves, for instance, last played trumpet 60 years ago at proms and formal dances. The trumpet he now plays is one he rents for $36 a month.
"I really enjoy playing music with this band," he said. "I was surprised at how fast everything came back to me."
A relentless love of music is what drives the members of the Windy's to practice for one hour each week in an on-site music room. It is also what prompted Ken Pinkham to get the band started in the first place.
Pinkham, who plays drums with a local country western band called the Wild Coyotes, got permission to circulate a flyer asking fellow residents if they wanted to play in a band. After a couple of weeks there was enough interest for him to schedule the first band practice two months ago.
The band has since performed a concert of Patriotic songs and it has accompanied the Wind Crest Chorale in concert. It is now practicing for an August performance at a marketing event.
And the Windy's is now expanding its repertoire to include jazz, Big Band, Broadway show tunes, Dixieland, and country music.
"It is wonderful to see members of our band push their talents," said Pinkham, who saved money from his teenage paper route to buy his first drum set. "Many new friendships have been formed."
The band's music director is James Hoppes, a housekeeping utility worker at Wind Crest who once taught music in Denver's public schools. He has guided the Windy's through its early sessions when band members had music books that were not in proper key alignment with each other.
He never ceases to encourage each band member's unique interpretation of a particular piece of music. "I have no idea where this is going to go," said Hoppes, "but we will follow the music wherever it leads us."
He said the compliments people give band members – and their standing ovations – is heartwarming to everyone. "It is like an Andy Warhol 15-minutes-of-fame moment," he said. "I am honored to be associated with this band."