A free concert by the Rohrersville Cornet Band will be held on Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m. in the Hancock Performing Arts Center at Town Hall, located at 126 West High Street in Hancock.
The Rohrersville Cornet Band was organized in 1837 as McCoy’s Cornet Band and is Maryland’s oldest community band in continuous existence. The band is now 186 years old. The band was founded by Washington McCoy. McCoy worked on the C&O Canal and in later years operated his own marble cutting business in Rohrersville.
In the 1800’s, community bands were one of the few forms of entertainment available to the average citizen in rural areas. The band is somewhat of an anomaly in these parts not because the town is so small but because the band has endured for so long.
Many of Washington County’s towns – Boonsboro, Sharpsburg, Keedysville – had bands at one time. But only the Rohrersville unit has survived. Today, the Rohrersville Band provides the same service to the public that it always has.
Sunday concerts in the park and at nursing homes, patriotic events, and festivals are coupled with parades to make up the largest share of the band’s performances, which average 30 each year. The band plays a variety of music dating from the 19th Century up to modern show tunes.
Band membership is open to anyone with the desire to play. The age of active band members range from preteen to the 80’s, and it is not unusual to have three generations from one family playing in the band at the same time. The band is always looking for new musicians and encourages those interested to drop by the Band Hall in downtown Rohrersville at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday nights for practice.
The band extends a special invitation to young musicians who would like the challenge of new music and an opportunity to practice over the summer months.