Civic band to honor visionaries


FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Civic Band Free-on-Friday concert will take place at 7 p.m. July 21 at Atherton Amphitheater, Community Park East, 691 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road.

Tom Kirsch will serve as master of ceremonies for the band, under the direction of Gary C. Johnson.

The band will present “Visionaries of the American Dream.” Performing select musical arrangements, the band will pay tribute to the contributions of American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, the creativity of big band director and jazz pianist Duke Ellington, and honor the 60th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech which was delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

Kirsch grew up in Fairborn where he attended Mary, Help of Christians Catholic School and graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School. As a young boy, he was involved in scouting and cutting lawns, and held his first job at Foy’s 5 and 10 in the early 1970s (where he was hired by Norm Foy).

As a WSU transfer to Northern Arizona University and also an alum of Arizona State University, Kirsch taught school in Arizona and Fairborn, along with his late and beloved wife, Wendi Williams Kirsch. After 42 years of teaching, Kirsch retired in 2021. He has served his community through Little League and Babe Ruth coaching; Lions Club of Fairborn; Rotary International of Fairborn; and as Chamber of Commerce ambassador.

His school-related activities included serving as science department chair, senior class co-advisor (with his wife), and coaching cross country and track and field for a time.

Kirsch presently serves Fairborn as executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce and is grandfather to 14 with number 15 on the way.

In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Fairborn High School auditorium.

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