"That's really nice to get some practice so they're not just sitting around collecting dust," he said.
The band also gives Hayes another chance to compose. He has written a few numbers specifically for the band, and it has also played some songs that he wrote that weren't just for the group.
One song that he did compose for the band was a march that incorporated numerology " the practice of assigning numbers to notes. Hayes gave some notes numbers that corresponded to the Ballston Spa ZIP code and used that for the march's melody.
"That was one way to tie it to the community," he said.
Marches are a staple at Ballston Spa Community Band shows, along with show tunes and pop music. Members said DeRagon strives to include a little something for everyone in the band's programs.
"Anyone who goes to any of our concerts should be happy at least some of the time," Hayes said with a laugh.
John Alfano, a trumpet player, said the band plays everything from "old, old standards" to modern tunes like those from the movie "The Incredibles."
Like Hayes, Alfano was a music major in college. He played both piano and trumpet in high school, but as his college studies got more serious, he fell away from the trumpet.
In recent years, though, Alfano dreamed he took up the trumpet again and was playing in a band. Intrigued, he decided to see if he could become proficient in the instrument again.
It was a challenge.
"It's not easy when you play everyday for 45 years," let alone when you take a 45-year break, Alfano said.
But he found a good teacher, Scott Hallida, and soon, Alfano was confident enough in his playing that he decided to find a local band to join. He was visiting a music store in Burnt Hills when he saw a flier for the Ballston Spa Community Band.