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Torgerson takes the baton

Percussionist and former conductor of the Bemidji Area Community Band David Murphy (left) and Les Torgerson, backstage after the last BACB concert, joke about Torgerson's stint as conductor for the final concert of the season. Murphy is wearing one of the new shirts the band bought this year with grant money received from Region 2 Arts Council and the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment. Patt Rall | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - When Les Torgerson takes the baton on Sunday for the last concert of the summer season for the Bemidji Area Community Band he will be returning to his alma mater.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Sunday on the Bangsberg Green or in Thompson Recital Hall, if the weather does not cooperate.

Torgerson, like Mike Carrigan who conducted the third concert of the summer series, is a Bemidji State University graduate. Torgerson earned his bachelor's degree in instrumental and vocal music education and a master's degree with an emphasis on trombone performance. He also studied on the post-graduate level at Indiana University and Arizona State University.

Some in the band, or in the audience, may recall Torgerson from his years as Bemidji High School's band director or as an adjunct professor of low brass and trombone at BSU or the University of North Dakota.

Torgerson is an active trombonist with Trombones Bemidji, Northland Jazz and Community Band, Bemidji Big Band, the Green Valley, Arizona Concert Band and the Minnesota 9th District American Legion Band. He has retired as director of music emeritus at Northland Community College in Thief River Falls, where he founded the Northland Community Band. The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The program will include some marching band tunes associated with military campaigns as far back as WWII. Torgerson is excited to be back in Bemidji and conductor of this fine group of musicians.