Hays City Band invites musicians to join them

The Hays City Band invites musicians of all levels to join them for its 2015 summer season. The first rehearsal on Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. in Malloy Hall, room 126, on the Fort Hays State University campus.

While musicians can simply show up to the first rehearsal, Dr. Lane Weaver, director of athletic bands at FHSU and Hays City Band director, recommends that people email him at lwweaver@fhsu.edu or call first.

"That way we can plan ahead," he said.

Every year, about 45 to 50 musicians of all ages and playing abilities rehearse and perform together. Many of the band members return year after year, such as Peggy Anschutz, Gorham. Anschutz, a retired band teacher, has played clarinet in the band for more than 20 years.

"The group has a lot of Fort Hays State music professors, area music directors and Fort Hays students," she said.

"In the last 10 years, there have been more junior high and high school students. The music was more challenging before, but I like the literature," said Anschutz.

"The literature is not hard," said Weaver. "It's about being laid-back and fun while still sounding good."

While the band sometimes plays the same pieces multiple years in a row, the group will play all new music this summer. This, paired with a variety of FHSU student conductors, will keep the rehearsals and performances fresh and interesting for band members and audiences.

"I'm a bit nervous, but I think the music is easily graspable," said Evan Strong, Pratt senior, one of the student conductors. "This isn't the first time I've conducted. I did some student conducting with the symphonic winds."

The other student conductors are Katie Glading, Oberlin senior; Renee Trevino, Sublette senior; Matt Rome, Hays, a recent FHSU graduate; and Kevin Pham, Hays, a recent FHSU graduate.

The Hays City Band offers a place for musicians of all levels to hone their skills, try new things or simply relax and have fun.

"Come give it a shot. Most people who try it have fun and see that there is nothing to be afraid of," said Weaver.

Musicians are not the only people who can enjoy the band though.

"If you don't play an instrument, come to the concert. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. This year you might need an umbrella," said Anschutz.

The first concert is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, on the FHSU Quad. The Hays City Band performs outdoors on the Quad every year, and people sit under the canopy of trees and listen to the band while children run and play on the grass, sometimes dancing to the music.

"It's kind of a fun, old-fashioned setting. It's about creating that atmosphere together," said Weaver.

For more information about the Hays City Band, contact Weaver at (785) 628-5353 or lwweaver@fhsu.edu.

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