Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Special events set before Municipal Band concert

Jul 28, 2017
Ledger file photo Ron Prill

Special events will be held Tuesday before the Fairfield Municipal Band concert in Central Park.

Starting at 7 p.m. the Fairfield All-Star Jazz Band will perform a concert on the Ron Prill Bandstand. The group is made up of 19 musicians from the area who have come together to perform big-band music. Music performed includes traditional big-band songs, Latin, and rock. Two vocalists, Emily McIntire and Dakota Andersen, will perform with the band.

Following the Fairfield All-Star Jazz Band performance, there will be a ceremony to unveil the plaque that will be placed on the Central Park bandstand, completing the naming process that now titles it as the Ron Prill Bandstand.

Ronald Louis Prill was an important figure in Fairfield for many years as the Fairfield High School band director and the commander and director of the 34th Army Band. He either directed or performed on the Central Park bandstand for more than 50 years.

Jim Edgeton, FHS instrumental music instructor and director of the Fairfield Community Municipal Band, and Gerry Runyon spearheaded efforts to dedicate the bandstand to Prill.

Edgeton said Prill rehearsed with the community band June 24, 2013, to prepare for the first Central Park concert in the 2013 series. However, when Prill arrived in the park the following day, he told Edgeton he did not think he could play due to declining health.

“I told him he could sit in the park and watch. I told him he’d probably never seen a concert in the bandstand from that perspective, and he said he hadn’t,” Edgeton said. “That concert was the first concert Ron hadn’t played in in more than 60 years, with the exception of times when he was gone for training with the 34th Army Band.

“After the concert, Gerry Runyon and I were talking about the incredible number of years he’s spent making music in that bandstand. The dedication seemed only fitting,” Edgeton said. “There is nobody who has performed in the bandstand as many times as Ron has.”

Runyon approached Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy about the possibility of dedicating the bandstand to Prill and “the mayor took it from there,” Edgeton said.

The city council approved the proposal July 22, 2013, and just a few days later on July 30, Malloy dedicated the bandstand to Prill for his years of dedication to the city of Fairfield.

After receiving the honor, Prill directed the Municipal Band in a march for the last time.

Prill, 81, died in his sleep Sept. 9, 2013, at Jefferson County Health Center.

Following the unveiling of the plaque Tuesday, the Fairfield Municipal Band will perform its sixth and last concert of its 2017 summer season at 8 p.m.

The group has performed annually for a six-week season since its founding in 1987 by Prill.

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