Mason City Municipal Band promotes “goodwill” through music | Arts and theater

For many local musicians, Mason City Municipal Band is a place to share their love of music and build friendships.

For trumpet player Chris Bell, it’s a band she’s been a part of since the 1970s. Because of the Municipal Band, Bell has been in many performances and even performed in front of “The Music Man” composer Meredith Willson.

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Mason City Municipal Band practicing at Mason City High School for their June 16 concert.

Abby Koch

“It was a chance for me to play with the really great musicians in Mason City. I started when I was in high school and I felt like I had really grown up,” Bell said.

Mason City Municipal Band has performed Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the Main Clubhouse this summer. The band’s final performance of the season will be on July 7.

The band covers a wide range of musicians, some of whom are still in high school, while others are senior citizens. Together, this group helps promote goodwill through music in Mason City, Bell says.

This season is also the first that the Municipal Band has made full use of the main pavilion, both indoors and outdoors since the space was cut in October 2021.

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Mason City Municipal Band performs in the main clubhouse as part of the 2022 North Iowa Band Festival entertainment lineup.

Rae Burnette

The aesthetics and acoustics of the main pavilion are greatly improved according to the members of the group.

“We’re very, very lucky. Now this way if it rains we can get in and we couldn’t before,” Bell said.

“The new pavilion, both inside and out, is beautiful. One of the things that makes it really good is that we feel like we sound good there,” said the euphonium player Jeff Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick said the City Orchestra is special to him and many others because it’s a chance to showcase their talents.

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Mason City Municipal Band practicing at Mason City High School for their June 16 concert.

Abby Koch

“It’s an opportunity for me to play my instrument, to play with good musicians, to make music and to play a lot of music, because we play a different concert every week. Never repeat and that’s cool “said Kirkpatrick.

The performances of the municipal orchestras cover a wide range of melodies, from recognizable classics from “The Music Man” to marches.

“My programming philosophy is not that the audience would like every bit of the concert, (but) I hope there will be one or two bits that they will love because we will have such a wide variety,” said the group director. Russ Kramer.

Bell said she encourages others to try their luck and share the love of music. If playing music isn’t something you enjoy, Bell said to hang out and enjoy the band.

“I would tell (to people) what a great band this is and how lucky we are to have a good band like this and we play a bit of everything,” Bell said. “There is always something for everyone.”

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Mason City Municipal Band practices at Mason City High School for their June 16 concert.

Abby Koch

The Mason City Municipal Band has limited availability to get involved, but Kramer says to call if interested. He added that it takes a certain skill level to be part of the group.

“It’s overlooked, the quality of the players who played in this group,” Kramer said. “This year’s band is just really deep with great quality musicians. They make music, they don’t just play notes.”

Abby covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @MkayAbby. Email her at [email protected]

About Madeline J. Carter

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