Municipal bands warm up for summer season

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Cape Girardeau and Jackson's municipal bands are kicking off another season over the next few days. Jackson's band will have its first show tonight, while Cape Girardeau's band performed its first show last Monday.

The bands perform once a week, with Cape Girardeau's band playing at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights at Capaha Park Municipal Bandshell. Jackson's band usually plays at 8 p.m. Thursday nights at Jackson City Park, with a few of its performances beginning at 7 p.m.

"The biggest difference this year is that at two of our concerts we're going to have extended programs," said Nick Leist, director of Jackson's municipal band. "We're going to start concerts an hour earlier and have a different band play for an hour, then we will go into our concert."

Leist noted that his municipal band board of directors, which shapes the band's policies and programs, wanted a slightly different schedule to attract new audiences.

"This is something entirely new," Leist said. "It'll be interesting to see if it's well-attended and if the community wants it."

Well-attended concerts

Jerry Ford, trumpet player for Cape Girardeau's band, said that on average 300 to 400 people attend Cape's performances while Leist said 200 to 300 people attend Jackson's performances.

"We have two separate crowds," Leist said. "We each serve the needs of our separate communities."

Jackson's music will be different from last year's tunes. Leist, who picks the music selections, has incorporated songs from the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack and from rock band Queen.

"I try to pick as varied a program as I can to hit all ages in the community," Leist said.

Ford said that variety will be a big part of Cape Girardeau's band as well.

"We always have marches, a Broadway musical number and a special guest each week," Ford said.

Each band has approximately 50 members, young and old, of each area. Ford said that the diverse makeup of is important, especially to students.

"We give the opportunity for high school students to play alongside professional and semi-professional musicians," Ford said. "We have a real cross-section of the community."

335-6611, extension 211


Cape Girardeau Municipal Band Schedule:

June 7-August 9 - 8 p.m. - Capaha Park Municipal Bandshell

(Every Wednesday -Except July 5th)

Jackson Municipal Band Schedule:

Date - Time - Place - Special Entertainment

June 1 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Jackson High School percussion ensemble

June 8 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - JHS jazz ensemble

June 15 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - country singer Mark Rees

June 22 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Flood Plain

June 29 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Bluegrass Band

July 4 - 7 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Saxy Jazz Combo and Robyn Hosp

July 6 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - TBA

July 13 - 7 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Transitions

July 20 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Pickin Penny Trio

July 25 - 6:30 p.m. - Stage at Jackson Homecomers - TBA

Aug. 3 - 8 p.m. - Jackson City Park - Country fiddler Steve Schaffner

Aug.10 - 8 p.m. - Gazebo (courthouse lawn) - TBA

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