MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Josh Youngs

Rachael Keating/Clinton HeraldJosh Youngs will conduct the River City Municipal Band this summer. Find out more about him in this week’s edition of Meet Your Neighbor.

Morrison, Illinois, junior high and high school band director Josh Youngs will be conducting this summer's River City Municipal Band for the first time. Find out more about him in this week’s edition of Meet Your Neighbor.

What instruments do you play?

My main instrument is euphonium. Through my studies I had to learn all instruments in the band so at the every least I can play all the instruments at a middle school level.

Have you been a part of the River City Municipal Band before?

No, all the more reason to do it. I participated in the Sterling Municipal Band a couple of years ago when I was back in college during the summers. From what I hear, it's a nice group of people that like to get their instruments out and play.

What are you looking forward to in conducting this summer?

It's going to be a really fun experience. From what I've heard, they have been playing for quite a while. As far as I know they have been playing a lot of march and pop music so I think just bringing a little bit more of a classical repertoire into their playing will be fun.

Can you give us a teaser of what we can expect music-wise?

The first concert will be our Memorial Day concert and that will be strictly patriotic marches. Our first main concert is going to be at the Lodge on June 12 and that is going to be a straight-up classical concert. We will be having a pops concert, Broadway concert and movie night.

Is there anything you want to check out in Clinton?

The Discovery Center is something interesting to go see. We will be having a concert there on the morning of June 17.

Being a teacher, how do you keep kids involved in the arts?

I think giving them the opportunity to perform in different ways. It's one thing to put on the fancy uniform and sit in a stuffy auditorium and play a concert for 45 minutes. Being able to go to a Mallards game or a LumberKings game and play "The Star-Spangled Banner" there. That sort of experience is something that not everyone gets to do. This past April, I took our band and choir to New York City for a week to perform and get a sense of the real world out there. For a lot of the kids it was a really big eye-opener and they absolutely loved it. They can't wait to go back someday.

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