KEARNEY — The Kearney Community Band offers three musical joys to the community — a chance to perform, an opportunity to improve musical skills and time for audience members to enjoy outdoor concerts.
“This year we’re going to use ‘The Entertainer’ by Scott Joplin as our theme song,” said director Dan Frizane. “That’s what we are, entertainers. Usually our themes have been lively marches but this will be a slower ragtime song. Of course, Joplin was the king of ragtime.”
With the start of summer, the Kearney Community Band begins a series of free concerts on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. through July 11. Frizane picked the outdoor stage at the Sonotorium at Harmon Park as its performance home. Now in its ninth season, the Kearney Community Band has become a standard of the summer music scene in Kearney.
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Frizane invites community members to join the band. The group practices from 7-9 p.m. on the Tuesday before the performances. The concerts are:
- June 6
- June 13
- June 20
- June 27
- July 4
- July 11
“We’d sure like members to come to the practice,” Frizane said. “I want the band to do more than just sight-read every concert. I’d like us to actually practice and know what we’re doing. That’s the teacher in me that lingers from 40 years of teaching.”
He promises a special patriotic concert for July 4.
“I’m hoping we’ll get a good band for this concert,” he said. “We’ll do a wonderful, all-patriotic program on the Fourth of July at the band shell. That will be something special this year since the Fourth falls on a Thursday.”
Frizane naturally associates patriotic music with America.
“We have a long history of band tradition here in America,” he said. “That began after the Civil War, although there was music back before then. There were a lot of instruments leftover from the Civil War. With these instruments around, the townspeople who were recovering from the war, got out the instruments and learned to play them. Most every town had a town band, including the Tri-Cities.”
These bands, like the Kearney Community Band, were made up of individuals who were not professional musicians, but still love to play.
“We’re continuing an old tradition,” he said. “I think they are associated with patriotic music because the bands are louder. If you wanted to make a loud statement, you have a band do that.”