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Band-O-Rama to feature local instrumental, vocal talents

When is the last time you heard a band perform a rousing traditional rendition of the National Anthem or John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever?”

The Pagosa Springs Symphonic Band, sponsored by Music Boosters, promises just that and much more at the upcoming Band-O-Rama concert on Saturday, March 24, 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

Tickets, sold at the door, are $5 per person, $15 for families, and free for fifth-graders and beginning band members.

The evening promises to bring us back to our roots, to stir our national pride, and to delight and amaze us with the talents of local musicians.

Among the local musicians will be saxophonist Bob Nordman, who will play “Gabriel’s Oboe,” the beautifully haunting theme song from the movie “The Mission,” written by Ennio Marricone. Nordman is a native of the Chicago area and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in history.  Bob played saxophone through high school, but put it down upon going to college.  Always a lover of music, Bob resumed playing the saxophone upon retirement and has been dedicated to developing his skills through diligent practice. As a result, he has become well known in the Pagosa Springs community for the beautiful sounds he produces from his instrument. Bob has been active in the Pagosa music scene, playing in the pit orchestra for numerous musicals, playing in the Oktoberfest band, and playing solos and duets in numerous Elation Arts concerts, Art in the Garden festivals and Sunday Night Unplugged services at St. Patrick’s Episcopal church.  Bob also plays regularly at services at the Community United Methodist Church.

Also featured on the program will be trumpeter Larry Elginer, who will perform “Trumpeter’s Lullaby,” by American composer, Leroy Anderson. Elginer’s enigmatic charm is apparent in every performance he gives, whether with the PSSB or with the John Graves Quartet in his weekly performances at a local bistro. Elginer, a California native, is a graduate of the University of Northern California and has had a long line of musical credits to his name since that time. Since his arrival in Pagosa Springs in 2009, Elginer has contributed generously to the musical scene in our community as the director of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir for seven years, numerous performances for the Elation Center for the Arts, as well as Sunday Night Unplugged, Art in the Garden and other community festivals.

Band-O-Rama will also feature vocal talents from members of the Community Choir who will join the band in “God Bless America,” and a choral version of “The Pledge of Allegiance.”

We will also enjoy the beautiful sounds of vocal soloist Mistie Stephens, who will sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical “Les Miserables” by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Mistie, who also plays clarinet in the band, was born and raised in northeast Louisiana where she graduated from Neville High School and Northeast Louisiana University. While in high school, Mistie was a member of the All-State Choir, District Honor Band, and All-State Marching Band. Mistie was also a drum major in high school and college. She also plays in the pit with high school and Music Boosters musicals, sings in the Community Choir and Jazz Ensemble and in the choir at her church.

“There is no question that Pagosa Springs“benefits from the talents of many, many talented musicians,” said Bill Gottschalk, one of the band’s directors. “We felt a strong need to consolidate our talents. With the help of Music Boosters, we were able to form a community band that can do some real good in promoting band programs in our public schools and bring musical entertainment to Pagosa Springs. We hope that, through our example, young people will get excited about participating in band programs, learning to play a musical instrument and will enjoy playing some of the wonderful repertoire available. Playing a musical instrument is a skill that can give lifelong pleasure.”

If you ask any member of the Pagosa Springs Symphonic Band, they will tell you that there is nothing that quite compares to the joy derived from playing in a band. They look forward to performing their first full concert for the Pagosa Springs public on March 24.

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