The music continues to live on in Carbon County a half century since its formation.

Further proof of that assertion can be observed during the 50th annual Carbon County Band Festival.

The festival will be held March 16-18 at Palmerton Area High School. The event will culminate with a concert at 7 p.m., March 18.

High school music teacher Thomas Heinick, who with 22 years of experience is the longest tenured band director in the county, said he feels "honored and privileged" that the district gets to host this year's concert.

"It's a long honored tradition to have this festival," Heinick said. "Music is an important part of everyone's life; everywhere music is often described as a basic need for everyone."

At $5 for adults, and $3 for students and senior citizens, Heinick said the concert should be well worth the price of admission.

"To be able to continue an event like this and be involved in the creative process and sharing the ability to be creative together with a group of people is spectacular," he said. "It brings students together from six different schools working cooperatively."

Heinick said he hopes the concert will pique the interests of other band directors and former county band participants, whom he said are encouraged to post their own reflections on the county band on wikispaces.

As an added bonus, Denny Seiwell, founding drummer of Paul McCartney and Wings, will serve as a guest soloist for the festival, Heinick said.

"We typically do not have a guest soloist for the festival, but we were lucky to get Denny Seiwell to agree to fly in from California for the event," he said. "Seiwell is still an active, in demand drummer, and we were able to get him because he was a member of the first Carbon County Band in 1961."

Heinick said Seiwell's brother, Darryl, is a former band director at Jim Thorpe High School.

Also of note, Heinick said Carbon County Judge Steven Serfass has agreed to address the band members at the banquet that evening. The Carbon County Commissioners are expected to issue a proclamation as well, he said.

For more information on the event, visit www.carboncountyband.wikispaces.com [1], or email Heinick at theinick@palmerton.org [2].