The Band Plays On

Going Home for a Music Man's Encore

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
206 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2013
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Author Biography

Following in his father’s footsteps, Rick D. Niece, Ph.D., is a lifelong educator who has served as a classroom teacher, a public school administrator, and a university professor, provost and president. In 1997, he was named President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, and has been steadfast in his devotion to the University’s success.

A small-town boy who has maintained his small-town values, Dr. Niece remembers his childhood with fond nostalgia. Growing up in picturesque DeGraff, Ohio, young Rickie was influenced by many endearing friends and neighbors who taught him the important life lessons that shaped his future—lessons he took with him from his years as a newspaper boy to a distinguished career in academia.

The Band Plays On is the second book in the highly acclaimed Fanfare for a Hometown series, an “automythography” about Dr. Niece’s upbringing in DeGraff that celebrates his childhood in rich, vivid detail. Considering himself a “memory keeper,” Niece takes readers with him on a poignant journey back in time to a safe haven of heartfelt remembrance, this time paying tribute to his father, Lewis Niece. Vibrant, poetic and charming, his stories make DeGraff an open book that everyone who appreciates sentiment will want to read.

A dollar for every book sold goes to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation to support music education in schools throughout America.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Denise Stern for Readers' Favorite

Step back in time to small-town America with author Rick Niece's "The Band Plays On", the story of a community band once again coming together in tribute of their band leader, who has also been invited back to lead the band. The Lewie's Alumni Band members offer a true story of the impact one man can make on a community, whose inhabitants have spread far and wide in the intervening decades. While reminiscent of Mr. Holland's Opus, "The Band Plays On" is even more special as the people, events and memories are true. The story hooks the reader in on the first page, prodding them back in time to a special town filled with special people, each of whom has a place in the author's memory.

Offering strangers a glimpse into small town life, Rick Niece takes readers along for a ride down memory lane, where the memories don't have to be yours to be thoroughly enjoyable. A witty delivery and sense of humor is infused throughout the book, where the author tells a heartfelt and sincere story. Nevertheless, the author refuses to take himself too seriously as he takes the reader by the hand and leads them into the three-dimensional world of DeGraff, Ohio, from the easy-going days of the 1950s to today. The people, the places, and the faces all come alive under Niece's gifted pen, creating a world for readers that is easy and enjoyable to inhabit - a world of simpler times and friendly, and sometimes quirky people.