Bemidji State University music faculty members Ryan Webber and Scott Guidry will be conducting the Bemidji Area Community Band for its summer concert series.
Weather permitting, the band’s four-concert series — with performances on June 17, July 1, July 22 and August 5 — will be held outdoors on the south lawn of BSU’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. Each performance begins at 7 p.m. and is open free to everyone. Concerts will be moved indoors to BSU’s Thompson Recital Hall in the event of inclement weather.
Webber, an adjunct instructor of trombone and low brass, is slated to direct the first two concerts in the series, with Guidry, an assistant professor of music and the university’s director of bands, directing the final two.
Webber said that in addition to providing free entertainment for the community, some of this year’s concerts will honor special guests and members of the Bemidji arts community.
“The third concert is really special,” he said. “We are honoring Betty Masoner — she was a long-time member and supporter of the band who, unfortunately, passed away this past November.
“We are also honoring Col. Arnald Gabriel, a retired Air Force veteran, who is going to be in town working with the Bemidji MusiCamp.”
Masoner, a 1948 Bemidji State alumna, spent 50 years teaching in Minnesota public schools and was a supporter of the Bemidji Area Community Band for more than 35 years. She also had been involved with the summer MusiCamp held at Bemidji State since it began in 1948.
Gabriel, who also is Conductor Emeritus of the U.S. Air Force Band, is a D-Day veteran who landed on Omaha Beach as an Army machine gunner. He will be hosted and honored by this year’s MusiCamp.
“I really enjoy working with this band,” Webber said. “We have people from all walks of life and ability levels. It’s really fun to see them come together for their love of music. It’s been a real blast”
BSU alumnus Steven Radley, who plays bass and tenor trombone for the band, says that being in the band provides him with a much-needed opportunity to share his love of music with others in the Bemidji community.
“I think its great,” he said. “It draws a lot of good instrumentalists from all over the area. Its been a lot of fun.”
The Bemidji Area Community Band, founded in 1960, is community-run and welcomes players of all skill levels.