BEMIDJI-The Bemidji Area Community Band will kick off its 2019 summer season with the annual Father's Day concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 16.
It will be held on the south lawn at Bemidji State University's Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, with Lake Bemidji glistening nearby. That's appropriate, because conductor Ryan Webber has created a program that's themed around water.
"The fun part about summer concerts is we get to play typically lighter fare," Webber said. "Marches, movie medleys, musical medleys, stuff that for some reason or another doesn't get programmed as much during the school year. So water is the theme."
It will include a solo that is close to the conductor's heart. In Arthur Pryor's "Blue Bells of Scotland," trombonist Noah Harstad will be the featured soloist. Harstad, from Fertile, Minn., is a music performance major at BSU in his third year with the Community Band.
"I wanted to give him a shot to step out in front," said Webber, who plays trombone himself. "Trombone isn't always the first selected instrument for solos. Typically in the band setting you might get saxophone, you might get trumpet, but there's a lot of great literature out their for trombone. Noah is doing a magnificent job on it and I know it's going to be a great performance."
Other water-related pieces on the concert schedule are "Manhattan Beach" by John Philip Sousa, "Brighton Beach" by William P. Latham, Highlights from "The Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan, "Sea Songs" by Ralph Vaughan Williams and "Fantasy on American Sailing Songs" by Clare Grundman.
"I strive to pick something for everybody," said Webber, an adjunct professor of music at BSU. "It's a great tradition that Bemidji has created. We're very fortunate to have this band going and the support in the community year after year."
Subsequent concerts this season are scheduled June 30, July 14 and July 28, all at 7 p.m. on the south lawn at Bangsberg. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the band will perform indoors at Bangsberg's Thompson Recital Hall. Attendees are urged to bring lawn chairs. Free-will donations will be accepted.
Terry Bradley will conduct the June 30 concert, which is the band's traditional patriotic event on or near the Fourth of July. Scott Guidry will conduct the final two concerts.
Kiki Schnackenberg, who plays flute and piccolo in the band, has taken over as president of the group's board of directors. She said the band will include between 45 and 60 members.
"Communities that have a community band, I think it offers opportunities for more people," Schnackenberg said. "Sometimes it's people dusting off their instruments that they haven't played since high school, and they get this opportunity to play, and it makes the band stronger. I love that we have a young man in the band who just finished eighth grade, all the way up to ... well, I won't say how old other people are. But it's people who are retired and have been for a long time. I think that wide diversity in the ages of people brings so much to the band. It's just really a lot of fun to see the dynamics between all those ages."