Strike Up the Band!
A 50th wedding anniversary is certainly cause for celebration. Words of congratulations, notes filled with best wishes and hearty handshakes are all part of the ritual. What isn’t usually on the program, however, is the happy couple providing entertainment for those well-wishers.
But that’s just what people will find at the upcoming celebration noting 50 years of marriage for J. Golden and Alice Ward of Tremonton. The pair, along with their children and grandchildren, will host an “everybody’s welcome” concert in Shuman Park on Saturday, July 13, from 6-7:30 p.m., in honor of the Ward’s anniversary. It will feature a revived version of the Ward family band and the public is invited to come listen, reminisce and enjoy the toe tapping music of big band era favorites like Glenn Miller and Count Basie.
Providing musical entertainment is nothing new to this remarkably talented family. The Ward children, all seven of them, cut their teeth on trombones, trumpets and timpani, thanks to the instruction of their band leading father and their piano playing mother. Many in the Bear River Valley will remember their performances together at church dances, city events and even the Box Elder County Fair. Though most have now moved away, each has become a remarkable musician in his or her own right.
But let’s take this musical story from the top. The Ward’s half-century of harmony started just up the freeway in Malad, Idaho, where both J. Golden and Alice were raised and educated. The two become acquainted at Malad High School. Alice was in student government and pianist for the school choir. J. Golden was already proficient at playing the trombone, the instrument his father favored.
J. Golden said he attributes his lifelong love of music to his mother, who would drive him from Malad to Ogden every Saturday for lessons. She also insisted he practice three hours a day.
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.