Barbara Ricca has been playing the trumpet with the Geauga County Fair Band since it began in 1938. As Ohio's oldest and only county fair band, it has about 50 active participants, but Ricca, 90, is the only original member.
In school they were talking about starting a little band, and when I came home I told my mother I wanted to play a horn. ... That's how I ended up playing the trumpet. I was in grade school when I joined the band. Mr. Azro Cheney was the original director of the band, and I was taking lessons from him. He said to me, "You better go join the band, and come and practice. ... It will do you good." When we first started out, we played an awful lot of [John Philip] Sousa marches and things, and now we have a variety of music. The band was organized to play for the Geauga County Fair and that is our place every Labor Day weekend. Five days there and we usually have two performances a day. We practice once a week ... at the fairgrounds in Burton on Tuesday nights. — as told to Caitlyn Callahan