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Ohio State alum has ‘Pride’ in his band

The Capital Pride Band of Columbus will be performing this Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln Theatre.  Credit: Courtesy of The Capital Pride Band of Columbus

The Capital Pride Band of Columbus will be performing this Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln Theatre.
Credit: Courtesy of The Capital Pride Band of Columbus

This Saturday and Sunday The Capital Pride Band will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Spring Concert Band performance at Lincoln Theater.

The Capital Pride Band of Columbus, or CapPride for short, is an Ohio-based LGBT performing arts organization, with marching and concert bands featuring volunteer musicians from the Columbus area of all styles and skill levels.

Since the band’s formation in 2003, membership has grown from the 28 original members to the over 90 musicians who work with the marching and concert bands.

Artistic Director Leigh Briggs said that in addition to the physical growth of the Capital Pride Band, the quality of performances has improved as well.

“(Things like) depth of sound, resonance, intonation, technical skill and ability to play as a cohesive unit have all shown measurable growth as the band has continued to mature,” he said.

A founding member of the Capital Pride Band, Briggs has directed the marching band since 2003 and has served as co-conductor and artistic director of the concert band since its debut performance in the spring of 2005.  Briggs studied music education and the French horn at Ohio State, in addition to marching in the OSU marching band for five years.

“We love our city – it’s part of our name,” said communications director Kevin Vaselakes, who graduated from Ohio State in 1985 with a BSBA in marketing.

“Approximately 20 percent of our members are Ohio State alums and about 10 percent have marched with The Best Damn Band in the Land,” he said.   

The upcoming concert performance will include favorite pieces from the band’s previous performances, featuring a wide variety of musical styles such as classical orchestral transcriptions, big band, swing, jazz, rock and roll , Broadway and today’s Top 40.

“The show will open with ‘Ascentium,’ the very first piece the concert band performed in public back in 2005,” said Briggs. “I have jokingly challenged…well, some might say threatened…our folks by saying recordings of that first performance and this one will be played back to back for comparison.  There is no doubt which one will display the better musicality, but listening to those recordings is one of the things I’m really looking forward to.”

In addition to CapPride’s annual concert performances, the marching band has marched in the Columbus Pride Parade and Festival every year since 2003.

“Membership is currently 80-85 percent LGBTQ,” said Vaselakes. “We have an ‘all are welcome’ policy… regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

“Come out and support amateur performing arts in Central Ohio,” Briggs said. “The atmosphere at the historic Lincoln Theatre is charming and inviting, the crowd is friendly and diverse, and the quality of entertainment will be a pleasant surprise.”

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