Manistee Community Band set to perform first of two summer concerts on Friday


This story has been updated to reflect a correction to the band’s first gig date.

MANISTEE – The Manistee Community Band has been rehearsing since May and is preparing to perform the first of its two “Sweet Sounds of Summer” concerts.

The band’s first performance is Friday at Mineral Springs Park in Frankfort at 7 p.m. The band will also perform at Manistee at the Lions Pavilion in First Street Beach on August 10 at 7 p.m.

Bandleader Ryan Biller said the song selection offers a little something for everyone.

“We play a wide range of music at both gigs, from patriotic – of course ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, and we do a mix of military armed forces songs – to fun stuff like the Leroy Anderson classic. , ‘Bugler’s Holiday’,” he said. “We’ve also got a saxophone concerto. (We’ll have) a really wide range of stuff, from all of that up to ‘The Lion King’. We’ve got a lot of fun music for people to hear.”

Last summer, the band rehearsed outdoors due to coronavirus safety guidelines. Even when the eased restrictions allowed the band to move indoors, the band decided to stick with outdoor rehearsals at Manistee Middle High School.

“We went out again this year,” Biller said. “We could move indoors, but we like the outdoors. Sometimes it’s a bit windy, but it’s fine.”

The group has grown considerably since last summer and currently has around 55 members.

“We’ve almost doubled our size from last year,” Biller said. “There will be more (members) at the August concert in Manistee than at the Frankfurt concert. We added the Frankfurt one after the schedule was released, so some people couldn’t make it.”

The band was short on a few horns in the spring, but Biller said more people were joining as needed.

“We’ve got a whole trumpet section this year. They’re featured on ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ as a trumpet trio,” he said. “We have a great horn section. Everyone is great. All the sections are very well filled, so I’m really happy.”

Biller said it’s been nice to see the music bring together people of varying ages and locations.

“We have people from all over – from Pentwater to Grosse Île,” he said. “People come from a wide range of backgrounds to play with us, and from all age groups. I think we have college student through to retired members of the community.”

Biller encourages anyone looking for something to do to attend one or both of the Manistee Community Band’s summer concerts.

“Spread the word and bring a chair or a blanket,” he said. “It’s going to be a great concert.”

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First rehearsal of the Manistee Community Band on May 18


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