Ferris Community Summer Band ends concert season tonight

The final Ferris Community Summer Band concert of its 53rd season will begin at 7 p.m. today, Tuesday, July 3, at the Big Rapids Bandshell, located behind Big Rapids Middle School. With Independence Day being Wednesday, this concert will feature patriotic tunes. (Pioneer file photos)

BIG RAPIDS — Families across the nation will soon celebrate Independence Day with cookouts and fireworks. Locally, residents can add a live performance to their schedule of Independence Day events.

During a piece saluting veterans, concert-goers who have served in the armed forces can stand and be recognized when they hear their anthem.

The sixth and final Ferris Community Summer Band concert of the season will begin at 7 p.m. today, Tuesday, July 3, at the Big Rapids Bandshell, located behind Big Rapids Middle School, 500 N. Warren Ave. “A Musical Kickoff for the Fourth of July” will feature a variety of patriotic tunes, as well as solos from Maria Borton (vocals) and Ed Mallett (euphonium).

“We’re going to have a little bit of extra flair and pageantry,” said band director Scott Cohen, noting attendees may see piccolo players dressed in colonial attire. “We’ll be having a bit more of a show with the music than we normally do.”

Concert-goers will hear a salute to American veterans, as well as the classic “Stars and Stripes Forever” march by John Phillip Sousa, during the free event. The rain location will be the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church, 304 Elm St.

This is the 53rd season Ferris State University has sponsored the band, which is filled with people of varying age groups and skill levels, from throughout Mecosta County and neighboring areas.

“The band represents a nice cross-section of the community,” Cohen said. “They all do this because they love to play. This season has been very successful.”

As band members come for as Monday night rehearsals and Wednesday performances as they desire, the number of musicians can change from one performance to the next. Cohen estimates 60 to 70 members of this season’s band were returning musicians, while more than 30 people joined the band for the first time this year.

The number of musicians can change from one performance to the next, band director Scott Cohen said. He estimates 60 to 70 members of this season’s band were returning musicians, while more than 30 people joined the band for the first time this year.

“It’s really great that we can keep bringing people back and enticing new people,” Cohen said.

While this concert marks the end of the Ferris Community Summer Band series, performances will continue at the Bandshell through mid-August. The musical lineup includes Blue Water Ramblers, July 11; Great Scott, July 18; Outlaw Express, July 25; Ruby and the Retros, Aug. 1; Matt Gabriel, Aug. 8; and Damned by Dawn, Aug. 15.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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