It's the Fourth of July and patriotic music is in the air at parades and outdoor concerts held throughout the area.   It's a time for people who play an instrument to show off their talent.   

One group performing today is not taking the opportunity for granted.  It’s the Northcoast Brass Company.  The members got together late last week to rehearse for two Fourth of July parades in which they would be performing.  Just about everyone in the group has a story about playing an instrument at a young age, then hanging it up.

“It's just a lot of people who have been playing music their whole lives that just really missed it,” says Dianne Gehrlein, Co-Founder.

Dianne played in a drum and bugle corps at a young age. Then, her time with that group came to an end. She put down her horn and didn't feel a need to pick it up again.

"You don't really just pick up a bugle.  I play the baritone bugle. It's not just something you pick up and play on your own.  It's not all that pleasing on your own,” says Dianne.

30 years passed. Then in 2013, organizers of the Perry 200 Celebration in Erie called for all former drum and bugle corps members to get together for a big concert.  For Dianne, the thrill of playing the bugle came back.  Two years later, she and seven other musicians formed the Northcoast Brass Company.

"I never would have thought in a million years that I would be playing a bugle at 54 years old,” says Dianne.  “It is just a passion.  Such a joy in my life.  It fulfills this hole in my soul that has been missing for awhile.

Howard Godfrey, 74, travels from Andover, Ohio to rehearse and play with the group. He joined his fellow performers at the rehearsal last week.

"Only because I love it. I think that's the case with everybody that's standing in that room,” Howard said.

Katelyn Tisarski is a senior at Iroquois High School.  She enjoys playing in a group with members in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. 

"They have a lot more experience than me.  So they're just kind of helping me out.  I've learned a lot,” she said.

Northcoast Brass Company is extending a welcome, a welcome to anyone who still has that love, still has that urge... to perform.

The group currently has about 25 members. Anyone who may be interested in becoming a member of Northcoast Brass Company is asked to log on to the group’s Facebook page. It's called the Northcoast Brass Company LLC Fan Page.  Questions and messages can be sent to the group through that Facebook page.