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Civic group forms backdrop of McCormicks lives


Tim and Cindy McCormick will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary Sunday where their story began: on the Montgomery County Civic Band stage.

The band is preparing a special tribute during Sunday’s concert at the Pattison Pavilion, the place where Tim has been a fixture with his trombone and where Cindy handed over her conductor’s baton in 2005 to rejoin the ensemble. 

“I can’t replace those two,” said Gary Ketchum, who succeeded Cindy as conductor.

The band will play “Sentimental Journey” to recognize the couple’s anniversary. The free concert begins at 3 p.m.

Tim’s introduction to the group came in middle school, when he joined on a dare from another pre-teen trombone player.

“I’m playing with a bunch of adults and here I am, I just learned how to play trombone in seventh grade,” he said.

Another trombonist, Bob Radford, noticed the young musician struggling to keep up with the notes.

“Come here, kid, I’ll show you how it’s done,” Radford said.

Tim continued playing until he started attending the Indiana University School of Music. While he pursued his studies, Malinda Zenor, a composer and music teacher whose father was a vaudeville trombonist, became conductor of the band.

Raford told Zenor that a young trombonist was working at the McCormick-Metsker Agency and encouraged her to bring Tim back into the band. He rejoined in 1978.

During a concert at Milligan Park, where the group performed before moving to the Lane Place grounds in the mid-1990s, he noticed a “really cute red head” in the audience. Cindy Zenor, the conductor’s daughter, was on summer break from Ball State University. Cindy, who now plays drums, joined the clarinet section. 

The couple began dating and tied the knot on June 23, 1979.

Civic band forms the backdrop for two other family milestones: The McCormicks’ daughter, Jessica, was born on a concert date in 1983. A few summers later, the couple missed a rehearsal for the birth of their son, also named Tim, who arrived on his father’s birthday. Both children later joined the band.

Cindy became conductor in the late ‘80s, leading the band for the next 17 years.

“If it hadn’t been for her, [the band] would have fallen apart,” Ketchum said.

Members performed at festivals, nursing homes and other community events. At one concert in the middle of the theme music for “Masterpiece Theatre,” Tim accidentally came in a measure or two early.

“Go with Tim,” Cindy motioned to the band. “We just went on and the audience didn’t know any different,” she recalled. “It was very seamless.”


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