Herald and Journal, Oct. 2, 2000

Making beautiful music together

By Lynda Jensen

How does a farmer, electrician, second-grade teacher, and excavator make beautiful music together?

All are members of a traveling band known as the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band.

The band is comprised of 44 players from a huge area, spanning from Glencoe and Lester Prairie to Dassel and other areas.

Players most often times bring their own instruments; donating their time to practice and play for young and old audiences alike.

Instruments include the flute, saxophone, clarinet, tuba, trumpet and others.

As a concert band, they do not contain a string section although bass player George Morris of Waverly is currently playing in the band, said band member and program announcer Kendell Kubasch of Howard Lake.

The band performs for events such as the Minneapolis Aquatennial, Crazy Days in Winsted, Lester Prairie Arts in the Park and the Cokato Corn Carnival as well as playing for groups of people at Hutchinson Mall and other cities through the region, and for senior citizens.

Their musical repertoire includes ragtime and jazzy tunes, music from Louis Prima and Glenn Miller and patriotic marches by Sousa. Glenn Miller is a hit with senior citizens, he added.

"We really enjoy the experience," Kubasch said of the band members and their performances.

Players spend an impressive amount of time and energy practicing once each week and performing at various engagements.

The group's dedication is evident by the number of practice sessions that are consistently met through the year, Kubasch said. "People drive through snow drifts," he said.

The band charges for its performances most of the time, depending on the ability to pay. Money collected through the year is donated to musical causes.

For example, the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band donated several thousand dollars worth of sheet music to the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school music library, Kubasch said.

Sheet music is actually quite expensive - costing as much as $400 to $450 for popular pieces such as The Little Mermaid, Kubasch said.

The band has also donated money toward youth scholarships for some of its younger members.

The HLWW Community Education Department allows the band to use their building to practice in.

There are no fees or membership dues to join the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band. If players have their own instruments, this is fine; but those who don't can have other arrangements made for them, Kubasch said.

Anyone interested in joining may call Kubasch at (320) 543-2678, or Marshall Carlsted at (320) 543-2633.

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