GALION — A slight breeze and sunshine filtering through the giant copper beech trees at The Gill House Sunday afternoon was a perfect backdrop for the second “Swing on the Porch” musical event.
An intimate crowd gathered on the east lawn of The Gill House, 342 Harding Way West, for an afternoon of jazz music performed by members of the Richland Academy Performing Arts Big Band, directed by Paul Martin.
The concert was another way to bring public awareness to the restoration going on at The Gill House.
Brian Treisch, a board member of Preserving Galion, Inc., which owns The Gill House, and is doing the restoration, said the group is having events to promote the fund-raising efforts. This summer, they decided to have a Henry Ford birthday party — Ford was a friend of the original builders of the Gill House — and during they celebration they put a band on the side porch.
“And it was like … this is brilliant,” Treisch said. “People can sit out here in the yard, we have a covered area that projects the sound well. It works great.”
Treisch said the band playing Sunday was made up of young high school students, as well as adults who like to play.
“That’s how it was formed,” he said. “It’s a pretty good band and we’re playing some challenging charts and some good music.”
Treisch said they are looking at continuing the series next spring with more bands to entertain area residents.
Thomas Palmer, president of Preserving Galion, Inc., said they’ve been doing the restoration on the house for eight years and they are in the process of a very slow, but steady restoration of the property.
He said they not only are doing an exterior restoration, but also a room-by-room restoration project inside
“The Gill House is a Galion landmark to begin with,” Palmer said. “Those of us old enough remember the original two story porch with columns. It’s a very important structure for Galion history. It was built by a family very involved in the community. And the couple who built the house actually had Thomas Edison and Henry Ford as family friends. They came and visited here. Actually this is more than a historical house for Galion, it’s a regional, sort of Ohio attraction, as well.”
Jeff and Ruth Ann Campbell were attending the event Sunday to watch their granddaughter Brooke Campbell play in the band.
“We just like to watch the kids,” Jeff said.
Penny Clevenger was also at the concert.
“I’m here just to listen to the music,” she said. “I like all kinds of music, and there is a nice breeze today. It’s going to be beautiful. I was in high school band, so I learned to enjoy music when I was really young. I played clarinet and bass clarinet, and then I was in marching band and played the trombone.”
Pam Wolf attended the ‘Swing on the Porch’ to see her son, Jason Wolf, who was playing a saxophone in the band Sunday.
“I played clarinet in high school and my husband played trombone and both of our kids played instruments,” Wolf said.
An intimate crowd took advantage of perfect weather Sunday to listen to the Richland Academy Performing Arts Big Band perform at the Gill House.
The Richland Academy Performing Arts Big Band performed Sunday at the Gill House. The program is another program of Preserving Galion, Inc., which owns and is trying to raise awareness of their preservation and renovation of one of Galion’s iconic old homes.