By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
For more than two decades the River City Municipal Band has provided the city of Clinton and surrounding areas with the sounds of classical music, and to celebrate, the band has a few surprises in store.
This year marks the 25th season of the River City Municipal Band; to give back to the members of the community who have always supported them and their troupe, a special concert series will commence at the start of the season.
Included in the jubilee season is the inaugural Municipal Band Festival, a concert that will feature musical stylings from a variety of area ensembles.
“We are in the process of working on a municipal band festival, as part of christening the new Clinton band shell,” public relations director Ben Logan said. “The plan, if we can get some interest, is to have a mid-afternoon concert letting each municipal band play for about 45 minutes.”
If everything goes as planned, the ceremonial concert will be held during the first weekend in June. While Logan is feeling hopeful, the municipal band board of directors is still in the early stages of planning.
Invitations to join the River City band at the festival have been sent to area bands in Dixon, Sterling and DeWitt and the Eastern Iowa Brass Band in Mt. Vernon and a series of others within a 90- mile radius of Clinton.
While the concert festival is intended to celebrate the River City band’s silver anniversary and unite area musicians, it is also intended to generate a little more recognition of the band from Clinton residents.
“The municipal band has been around for 25 years but a lot of people in town don’t even know that we have a municipal band,” Logan said. “We’re trying to get more connected with them.”
Along with the festival, the band is also planning a variety of other smaller concerts around town in addition to its normally scheduled performances.
Of those special concerts, there is one they hope will channel the spirit of past municipal bands as they recreate an annual concert done many years ago.
“The municipal bands of Clinton go back to the 1800s and one of the things they would do to kick off their year would be to do a performance on a barge,” Logan said. “So we would like to work with the marina to arrange some type of concert down at the new boat docks.”
With a variety of shows planned for the 25th season, Logan and other members of the municipal band are excited to kick off the ceremonial year. But hold on to those tubas, because the season doesn’t start until Memorial Day.