DIRECTOR'S NEWSLETTERS


2011 NEWSLETTER by Director Mike Pearce
Dear Lake City Stinger Band Members, Guest Players, Friends, and Prospective Guests

Now seems like a good time to start thinking about the coming summer band season and planning the band's activities.  I hope your winter season has been prosperous and productive. I 've heard from some of you and relayed some of the things Ann and I have been doing.  Our most memorable family adventure was a 10-day trip to China, something I would recommend that everyone do if at all possible.  In addition to some enjoyable personal performances, my other all consuming endeavor was full replacement of my left knee on November 16.  Unfortunately, the adventure continues with an emergency operation on March 2 for a staph infection.  Daily doses of a strong IV antibiotic are due to end on Sunday, April 17.  Your thoughts and prayers will be appreciated.

I want to express my appreciation to Bob Matthews for securing a gift of $1,000 from the Women's Club and also to Don and Dorothy Farmer for requesting and receiving an additional $1,000 from the Women's Club to help with the cost of bringing soloists to perform with us this year.

As is true every season, it's really important that each band member be alert to any possibilities for inviting additional players to participate with the band.  We'll welcome all players, no matter how long it's been since they last played or what skill level they feel like they possess.  We're just community players trying to provide a service to the town and its visitors and also gain the satisfaction of performing great music to the best of our abilities.  At the Western State College Brass Band event in late February, I talked with Kali Sheldon, the fine tuba player from Western State, and she plans to play with us on the July concert.  She also plans to bring a trombone player with her, or maybe he's coming on his own.  During at least a couple of rehearsal breaks, I heard from members of the brass band that they had been hearing great things about the Lake City Band.  Ken Matzick was also participating and may have heard some of the same kind of comments.

If you haven't heard, Tara Hardy has been working on the French horn and we should all wish her well, knowing we'll all benefit from the addition of an important tone color to the sound of the band.

Some of the music we'll have available to choose from for this summer's performances include: *Note: Pieces marked with an asterisk have some technical sections that could use some looking over and slow, careful practice before we have the full band play them.

Graduation: National Anthem, Pomp and Circumstance, Troy, Other?

July 4 Parade: Strike Up the Band, You Can Call Me Al, Stadium Rock, Macho Nacho

July 4th Concert in the Park: Strike Up the Band, National Anthem, God Bless America w/vocal, Others

July 2nd Concert: The Avenger, march; All I Ask of You (Phantom), Clair Jessee & Don Farmer, vocals; Atlantic Zephyrs, euphonium solo, Buddy Laws; Carnival of the Animals; *First Suite for Military Band, Holst; All the Pretty Little Horses; *La Virgen de la Macarena, featuring Ken Matzick, trumpet; Armed Forces Salute; The Walking Frog; The Liberty Bell, march; My Heart Will Go On, alto sax feature; Tentin Tonight, Civil War song w/audience participation; Horkstow Grange, Percy Grainger; Marines Hymn

August 6 Concert: Oblivion, oboe solo w/band, Sarah Balian; Procession of the Nobles, featuring guest French horn players; *Benny Goodman Salute; Five Folksongs for Soprano & Band, Claire Jessee; ABBA on Broadway; Harlem Nocturne, featuring alto sax solo; Selections from the Water Music, Handel, featuring guest French horn players; The Legend of Zorro, featuring guest French horn players; Pavane for a Dead Princess, Ravel, Sarah Balian, English horn; Largo from Xerxes, Handel, Sarah Balian, English horn; Alexander’s Rag Time Band, Cindy Bissell, vocal; The Klaxon, march; National Emblem, march For this concert, I'm inviting 4 + French horn players to join us.  I have one confirmation already and think we can have a large enough section that Tara can pick and choose which of the French horn feature pieces she feels ready to tackle.

With a little individual home practice, the assistance of some guest players, and possibly a new band member or two, I think we have the makings of another stand-out season for the Stinger Band and look forward to trying my best to make that happen for our community and for us as performers.

We'll start our evening rehearsals on Tuesday, May 3. See you then! 


2010 DIRECTOR'S NEWSLETTER by Mike Pearce   

Band Members, Guest Performers, and Friends of the Band

It’s that time again -- time to begin building chops, planning activities, working on individual parts, and rehearsing for another enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding summer season with the Lake City Community Band.  We’ll start Tuesday evening rehearsals on May 4.  Margaret has music folders filled and many band members have started working on them.  Anyone else needing parts can contact Margaret and arrange to pick up a folder or have parts sent to you.  As before, the music for this year falls within difficulty levels 2 through 3 1/2.  There are several fairly demanding pieces, like the English Folk Song Suite, Olympia Hippodrome, the Symphony #2, and some of the swing pieces on the August concert that will need some individual attention in order for us to execute them well enough to feel satisfied with the final results. In order to encourage our school beginners to join us for a couple of pieces, there are a few very easy selections in the repertoire. Performance literature for this year’s band will be selected from the following: Graduation, May 29 -- Star Spangled Banner, Pomp and Circumstance, Student Officers March, Legend of the Warriors, and others; 4th of July Parade -- Magnificent Seven, Anchors Aweigh, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Oklahoma!; Community Worship Service -- Peace Like a River, Swedish Hymn of Praise, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, You Raise Me Up(with vocal), and Swahili Folk Hymn; July 6 Concert, “Music Around the World,” -- English Folk Song Suite, Four Sketches (Bartok, Eastern Europe), Hoe Down from “Rodeo (USA),” Mambo Cubano, Australian Up Country Tune, Irish Tune from County Derry (Danny Boy, euphonium solo), Finale from Symphony #2 (The Little Russian, Tchaikovsky), Mandalen Landscapes (Norway), Songs of the Basque (2nd movement), Theme from Schindler’s List, The Great Gate of Kiev (Russia), Olympia Hippodrome March (USA), Anchors Aweigh (USA), Asian Sunrise (Asia), and Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon (China); August 8 Concert, “That Swingin’ Thing, and More” -- That Old Hound Dog Rag, The Smiler (ragtime), Clowns! Clowns! Clowns!, Chicken Chowder, Louis Armstrong’s Legend, Georgia on My Mind, Selections from Chicago, A Salute to New York City, Perez Prado, Yakety Sax, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (with vocal), Big Band Spectacular, The Legend of Zorro, and Mancini Magic.

The Lake City Community Band rehearses each Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 PM, with dress rehearsals preceding the July and August concerts.  Guest performers are provided with advance copies of music for individual practice and are encouraged to attend dress rehearsals and as many Tuesday rehearsals as possible.  Concert apparel is white tops and black bottoms with reversible vests, provided by the band.

For more information about the band and its activities or to inquire about performing as a guest, check the band’s website at lakecityband.org or call Mike Pearce at 970-944-0354 or 303-979-6764.


2009 DIRECTOR'S NEWSLETTER by Mike Pearce

To: All members, guest players, friends of the band, and acquaintances
From: Mike Pearce, Director, Lake City Community Band

As the 2009 season winds down, we can look back and reflect both on the high points and also on things we might want to do differently next year. From the onset, we were aware that the Lake City Community Band's 2009 season would include a challenging number and variety of performances, with a proportional quantity to music to be prepared. The six performance events - Dedication of the Transportation Building on June 20th, the 4th of July Parade, the brief concert in the park on July 4th, the Community Church Service on July 5, the evening concert on July 5th, the evening concert on August 9, and the Lake City Birthday Celebration on August 16 - would present the band with significant challenges, but all were well received and the quality of performance remained uniformly high.

Varied, high caliber literature was once again crucial to the band's success, and included the following:
June 20, Dedication of the Transportation Building - I've Been Workin' on the Railroad, Surrey with the Fringe on Top, National Emblem March, George Washington Bicentennial March, Fireman's Polka, and If I Had a Wagon.
4th of July Parade - This Is My Country, Yellow Rose of Texas, and Oklahoma.
4th of July Concert in the Park - Star Spangled Banner, Fireman's Polka, National Emblem March, and George Washington Bicentennial March.
July 5th Community Church Service - Let There Be Peace on Earth, For the Beauty of the Earth, and Hymn to the Fallen.
July 5th Evening Concert - Stars and Stripes Forever, The Volunteer, with euphonium soloist Buddy Laws, Ashokan Farewell, Armed Forces Medley, George Washington Bicentennial March, American Patrol March, The Mad Major, National Emblem March, 1812 Overture, and Sabre Dance.
August 9th Evening Concert - Saginaw Valley March, Somewhere in Time, Jager 3rd Suit for Band, Wood Up Quickstep, Malaguena, Highlights from Oklahoma with vocalists Steve Anderson, Cindy Bissell, Don Farmer, and Leo Jo Lowry, Summertime with Claire Jessee, vocalist, and Galop from the Comedians.
August 16th Lake City Birthday Celebration - Fireman's Polka, Wood Up! Quickstep, George Washington Bicentennial March, National Emblem March, and Saginaw Valley March.

In addition to the loud, enthusiastic audience response, personal comments included appreciation for the quality of the music, variety, technical challenge and expertise, attention to tuning, nuance, expression, and balance of instrumentation.

Another point of emphasis for the band in 2009 was broadening of participation by guest performers, starting with Buddy Laws, euphonium soloist - Springfield, OH; and also including Lewis and Daniel Farrar (7th and 9th grade respectively) - Parker, CO; Abigail Kellogg (10th grade) - Rhone, TX; Scott Coy - Austin, TX; John Kinkaid - Gunnison, CO and Las Vegas, NV; Jim Gibson and Yvonne McChesney - Montrose, CO; and Cindy Bissell - Las Vegas, NV. In most cases, guest players attended one or more rehearsals, including the dress rehearsal, then participated in one or more performances.

Also important was the presentation of a wider variety of instrumental tone colors, through individual and sections solos. Featured in section solo work were the clarinets, the percussion, the flutes, the low brass/low reeds, and the trumpets, while solos featured Claire Jessee - piccolo; Nina Klingaman - flute; George Hoffman - clarinet; Ken Matzick - Eb and Bb cornet and flugelhorn; Leo Jo Lowry - xylophone; and Richard Mathews - baritone horn. A unique offering in the '09 season was the singing by vocalists, all members of the band, during performances of the following: Star Spangled Banner and Summertime - Claire Jessee; and Highlights from Oklahoma - Don Farmer, Cindy Bissell, Leo Jo Lowry, and Steve Anderson.

A final goal for the band in 2009 was the development of a beginning program and offering of band at the Lake City Community School. For the first phase of the project, a team of Lake City Band members conducted a cafeteria style exploratory on August 28 resulting in 100% of the school's 4th and 5th grade students, along with two 6th graders, signing up to learn to play woodwind and brass instruments. After all 16 students brought back parent permission forms, the team - Dorothy and Don Farmer, Jay Farrar, Bill Stewart, Martha Reyburn, Claire Jessee, Kerry Coy, Ken Matzick, Russell Egelston, and Joe Steele - began helping students learn to play the following: 1 alto sax; 5 clarinets; 3 flutes; 4 trumpets, 3 French horns; 1 baritone, and 1 trombone. Dr. Karen Thormalen, a clarinet player in the Lake City Band and Superintendent of the Hinsdale County Schools, has been providing consistent, strong support in everything from collecting permission forms and book fees, to arranging facilities, assisting young clarinetists, and so on. Plans for the Lake City School Band include the opportunity for all who are sufficiently advanced to play Christmas carols with the adult community band at Christmas time.

Plans for the Lake City Community Band's 2010 season are underway and include participation at graduation ceremonies in May, followed by other traditional performances throughout the summer. Once again, while staying within the boundaries of 2 through 3.5 difficulty levels, varied literature is planned and will be selected from the following: Olympia Hippodrome March, Clowns!Clowns!Clowns!, The Fossils and Finale from Carnival of the Animals, Hoe Down from Rodeo, Anchors Aweigh, Chicken Chowder, Asian Sunrise, You Raise Me Up (with vocalist), Schindler's List, Irish Tune from County Derry, English Folk Song Suite, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (with vocalists), Salute to New York, Louis Armstong Legend, Georgia on My Mind, Yakety Sax, Harry Potter, and Great Gate of Kiev (with school band). Buddy Laws has indicated his interest in performing with the Lake City Community Band in 2010, and plans are to invited members of the school band to participate in as many selections as possible with the adult band. A persistent rumor has it that Don Farmer has been practicing the oboe and already sounds pretty good on the solo in the English Folk Song Suite. Anyone else who's ready to start practicing next year's music can ask Margaret for a set of parts - she already has them just about ready to go.

The Lake City Community Band will continue seeking and welcoming new members to help us reach our goals of preparing and performing music that interests and challenges our members and entertains and enriches the cultural life of the community. With the continued leadership of the band board and the strong participation of the members, the 2010 season promises to be another engaging and rewarding season. Or, to put it another way, it looks like its going to be a blast!

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