BEMIDJI – Bemidji State University music student Lexie Kruse represented the university last October when the U.S. Army Field Band made an appearance at the Sanford Center.
Musicians from Bemidji High School, the Bemidji Area Community Band and Kruse played in a rousing rendition of “El Capitan” on stage with the Army band.
But it was during a clinic by one of the Army musicians that Kruse was advised to send an audition CD to the band headquarters. During an interview with the Pioneer last fall, Kruse spoke about her desire to play with a military band after graduation from BSU. The clinician spoke to Kruse about recording a spotless audition tape and she worked hard toward that goal and submitted her CD for review.
“It’s the first time in my 20 years of teaching that I have had a student accepted for one of the top military band auditions,” said her teacher and mentor, Del Lyren of BSU. “She (Kruse) had to submit a CD recording and she is one of a handful (of students) to be selected from around the U.S.A.”
Kruse will be traveling to Washington, D.C. in early February to audition for the Army Field Band, one of the most prestigious military musical groups. She has accepted the all-expense paid invitation to visit the nation’s capital and perform.
If Kruse is accepted as a band member, she will need to complete Army basic training and then go directly to band service.
Lyren cited the many professional musicians who have come to Bemidji to conduct workshops and perform for the general public through the Bemidji Concert Series. This opportunity for Kruse is another example of how many of these guest artists have developed long-lasting relationships and mentorships with Lyren’s students.
“Many of these (opportunities) have led to doors opening that otherwise would not even have existed,” said Lyren. “I am so very proud of Lexie and thankful that she has this opportunity.”