ABOUT THE BOOK:
Celebrating the soul of America's heartland, The Band Plays On is Rick Niece's heartfelt tribute to friendship, community, and, most importantly, his father, Lewis Niece. When DeGraff, Ohio's beloved band teacher is invited to direct an encore performance, "Lewie's Alumni Band" gathers to celebrate with gusto. As the band practices for its final parade, Rick, his baritone in tow, reflects on treasured memories, relationships, and the legacy of a small town with indomitable spirit. The second volume in the delightful Fanfare for a Hometown series, The Band Plays On provides an entertaining, inspirational glimpse into lives richly lived...and shared.
I was absolutely charmed by this slender volume of rememberances. Written in a personal voice that brings to mind storytelling on the front porch, author Rick Niece shares tales from his past growing up in a small town in Ohio.
Some stories will make you laugh, some will bring back memories of childhoods past, and some will bring tears to your eyes. It was particularly poignant to read of Niece's memories of watching the Andy Griffith Show with family friends.
I highly recommend "The Band Plays On" for anyone who enjoys stories about a gentler past.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Following in his father's footsteps, Rick D. Niece, Ph.D., is a lifelong educator who has served as a classroom teacher, a public school administrator, and a university professor, provost, and president. In 1997, he was named President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, and has been steadfast in his devotion to the University's success.
A small-town boy who has maintained his small-town values, Dr. Niece remembers his childhood with fond nostalgia. Growing up in picturesque DeGraff, Ohio, young Rickie was influenced by many endearing friends and neighbors who taught him the important life lessons that shaped his future-lessons he took with him from his years as a newspaper boy to a distinguished career in academia.
Dr. Niece is the recipient of multiple awards, both as an author and an educator. His first book, Side-Yard Superhero, was named the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton's Spring 2012 One Book, One Community reading program selection. Residing on campus at the University of the Ozarks, he and his wife, Sherée, are the proud "parents" of 630 students.
Check out his website at www.rickniecebooks.com
WHAT MAKES THE BAND PLAYS ON UNIQUE?
A delightful celebration of music and memory, The Band Plays On takes readers on a poignant journey home to DeGraff, Ohio (population 900). Humor, heartbreak, and hope characterize this inviting small town, where the future of young Rickie Niece is shaped by the unwavering devotion of caring friends and family. The Band Plays On is the second book in the highly acclaimed Fanfare for a Hometown series, an "automythography" about Dr. Niece's upbringing in DeGraff that celebrates his childhood in rich, vivid detail.
Considering himself a "memory keeper," Niece takes readers with him on a poignant journey back in time to a safe haven of heartfelt remembrance, this time paying tribute to his father, Lewis Niece. Vibrant, poetic and charming, his stories make DeGraff an open book that everyone who appreciates sentiment will want to read.
EXCERPT FROM THE BAND PLAYS ON
From Chapter Twenty, Lewie's Alumni Band: When the last note sounded, Dad lowered his baton and then, in unison, his band, his students, his kids from decades past arose to shower him with our own ovation. Everyone in the audience jumped to their feet to join us.
My father stood there for the longest time, a motionless monument amidst a sea of well-deserved adulation. He finally bowed to the crowd, then slowly turned to bow to us. If ever a man's career can be marked by a single moment, that was his moment. Those of us lucky enough to have shared it still carry a measure in our hearts.
"Play another one, Lewie, play another one."
One dollar for every copy of The Band Plays On sold will go directly to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation helps music programs by getting disused instruments into needy schools. And these days just about all schools are in need of help with music programs. Help kids today have the wonderful experience of music in school that we all benefited from.
More information about Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation is available at www.mhopus.org.
Also, now through July 16, Five Star Publications is also running a campaign where for every new fan who likes the FB page www.facebook.com/rickniecelifelessons - they will also donate $1 to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.