It’s starting to sound like summer in Austin

Published 11:00 am Monday, June 10, 2013

By Roger Boughton

Summer reminds me of picnics in the park, hot dogs on the grill, parades on the Fourth of July and bonfires at the beach.

Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on warm June summer evenings, the community of Austin has the opportunity to gather at the band shell and listen to great music. Across the wide span of grass there will be lawn chairs, blankets, food items, dogs on leashes and children playing. The summer breeze will be unfurling the American flag for all to view. Free concerts take place at the Bandshell Park on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on June 19 and 26 and on Thursday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. On June 26, free ice cream will be provided to the first 125 members of the audience. Once the ice cream is gone it is gone!

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The crowd will begin to quiet down Wednesday as the band comes to attention. Brian Koser, the maestro, will lift his baton and the music will begin to flow. There will be wonderful medleys like Finnegan’s Rainbow and themes from Porgy and Bess to soften the night air along with majestic music like the march Tally-ho played with deep emotion by the band. Brian Koser, the conductor, will take us through time and introduce us to the music of the great movie themes and at the same moment celebrate the summer by playing the Armed Forces service songs along with the Battle Hymn of the Republic. As the sun begins to dip below the roof tops our soul will be nourished and uplifted by listening to the Pledge of Allegiance sung by a special guest. One song within the musical selections includes Oklahoma and will increase the tempo a bit and get our feet to tapping! The evening is young with more to come.

These special evenings of great music at the band shell will be provided by 40 area musicians. They have been practicing every Tuesday evening since April. They come from all walks of life and represent ages from 15 into the late 70s. Their skill levels are as varied as their ages and hair color. However, they all have one thing in common — they love to play great music.

The summer band concert season will come to an end on July 4th when the Community Band participates in the July 4 parade at 11 a.m. and concludes the day’s activity by presenting a concert at the city Bandshell at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the big fireworks. Thanks to our community leaders small town America at its best is on display!

The summer band concerts are sponsored by the Southeastern MN Arts Council, the Austin Area Foundation and the city of Austin through the Park and Recreation Department.


Roger Boughton is an Austin resident and former City Council member.