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Enjoy a summer of great music

By Roger Boughten

Summer reminds me of picnics in the park, hot dogs on the grill, parades on the Fourth of July and the magic of music at the park. Three Wednesday evenings, 7 p.m. on June 14, 21 and 28 the community of Austin will have the opportunity to gather at the band shell and listen to great music and enjoy free ice cream on a warm summer evening.  At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30 the Jazz Concert Band will perform at the Hormel Historic Home.

Across the wide open span of grass at the park 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 as the band plays the “Star Spangled Banner.” There will also be a special Monday evening. A concert featuring the Community Band at 8:30 p.m. will also feature a wonderful fireworks display that will follow the July 3 Freedom Fest concert. You won’t want to miss it!

The crowd will begin to quiet down as the band comes to attention on early Wednesday evenings in June.

The Community Band always draws good crowds on a warm summer night. Photo provided

Brian Koser, the maestro, will lift his baton and the music will begin to flow. There will be old favorites like “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and highlights from Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book.” The night will come alive under the stars with the “Minnesota March” which will be played with deep emotion and lots of enthusiasm.

Koser will take us through time and introduce us to the music of the great movie themes and at the same moment celebrate the summer with spirited marches.

The evening program always opens with the band playing the United States of America’s “Star Spangled Banner.”  As the sun begins to dip below the roof tops to the west our souls will be nourished and uplifted by listening to the music of Henry Mancini’s “The Great Race.” Join us for an evening of great music. These four special summer evenings of great music at the band shell will be provided by over 45 area musicians. They have been practicing every Tuesday evening since April. They come from all walks of life and represent ages from early teens into the late 70s. Their skill levels are as varied as their ages. However, they all have one thing in common in that they love to play great music and entertain home town audiences.

The summer band concert season will be highlighted on July 4 when the Community Band participates in the July 4 parade and the Austin Symphony presents a concert at 8:30 p.m. at the Band Shell. Thanks to our community leaders, small town America at its’ best is on display.

Bring your lawn chair and come spend an evening with the Community Band and enjoy some ice cream. The ice cream will be cold and the music hot.

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