• 70°

Roger Boughton: It’s starting to sound like summer

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

This past Wednesday evening, if you were out and about, you saw for the first time in over two years our Austin Community Band playing at the Mill Pond Park during the 4th Avenue Festival.  It seems like life is just about back to normal.

The community of Austin will have an opportunity to gather at Bandshell Park on the next two Wednesdays and listen to great music. Across the wide span of grass there will be lawn chairs, blankets, food items, dogs on leashes, free ice cream and children playing. The summer breeze will be unfurling the American flag for all to view. Free concerts will take place at 7 p.m. on June 23 and June 30, as well as at 8:30 p.m. on July 4 at Bandshell Park. Free ice cream will be provided to everyone at the June concerts until it’s gone.

The crowd will begin to quiet down as the band comes to attention. Tim Davis, our new maestro, will lift his baton and the music will begin to flow. There will be wonderful medleys, such as the “Batman Theme” and “Fire Dance,” played with deep emotion by the band. Davis will take us through time and introduce us to the music of the great music themes, such as music from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the “Alamo March’’ and the “Shiloh Canyon Fantasy.” As the sun begins to dip below the roof tops, our souls will be nourished and uplifted by listening to “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “Fairest of the Fair.” The evening is young with more to come and you won’t want to miss the great evening of music.

These special evenings of good music at the Bandshell 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 16 into the early 80s. 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 for wonderful audiences.

The summer band concert season will take a breather after July 4, when the Community Band participates in the Independence Day Parade at 11 a.m. and concludes the day’s activity with the 8:30 p.m. Bandshell concert just prior to the big fireworks. The band will once again take up its instruments and provide a concert at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29, in support of the annual Austin Artworks Festival.

Thanks to our community band and its many talented musicians — small-town America at its best!

The summer band concerts are sponsored by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, the Austin Area Foundation, the city of Austin through the Park, Recreation and Forestry Department, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, and the Austin Public Schools.