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Ferris Community Band Begins 53rd Concert Season

Ferris State University

PHOTO CAPTION: Six concerts during a five-week period have been planned as the Ferris Community Summer Band begins its 53rd season with a 7 p.m. performance Wednesday, June 6 on the lawn of the Old Jail in Big Rapids. Musicians of middle school age and beyond collaborate on a new group of selections each week of the series.

A continuing collaborative effort is underway, in Big Rapids, as the Ferris State University Community Summer Band has started its practice for a 53rd yearly schedule of concerts beginning Wednesday, June 6.

The band’s director, Scott Cohen is a professor of Music and a department chair in Ferris’ College of Arts, Sciences and Education. Cohen said this will be his 16th season leading this diverse group of local musicians.

“We are happy to see a wide variety of new participants from all age groups as we prepare Ferris State Universityfor our 53rd season,” Cohen said. “I personally have led more than 100 concerts and some of our performers have been in the summer band for up to 40 years.”

The band’s performance schedule begins with a 7 p.m. concert Wednesday, June 6 on the lawn of the Old Jail, at 220 South Stewart Street in Big Rapids. With performers taking vacations, or some of the musicians who contribute visiting town for a short period of time, Cohen said cooperation and flexibility are key components to their success.

“Adjustments are part of the musical drama for our band, but this keeps us fresh and on our toes,” Cohen said. “Our players have one rehearsal before they gather to perform new music in each week’s performance. We will present an interesting mix and our players are committed to making as many of the concerts as they can.”

The concerts, all beginning at 7 p.m., continue the next four weeks at various venues in Mecosta County. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, June 13, at The Canadian Lakes Castle (all concerts begin at 7 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, June 20, at the Big Rapids Band Shell and Thursday, June 21 at Big Rapids’ Triangle Park, as part of the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Community Block Party
  • Wednesday, June 27, at the Big Rapids Band Shell and
  • Wednesday, July 3, at the Big Rapids Band Shell

In the event of rain, the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church at 304 Elm Street is the alternate concert site.

“These are very different venues, and in most cases, bringing a blanket or folding chairs is advisable for our audience,” Cohen said. “We always strive to provide an hour of excellent and enjoyable music for a summer evening.”

Musicians of middle-school age and beyond are encouraged to attend the Monday evening rehearsal session in the FSU Music Center from 7 to 9 p.m. prior to each week’s performance. Cohen welcomes questions by email or phone, at (231) 591-2484. The Ferris Community Summer Band is sponsored by the university as part of its “Music for Life!” initiative.