Steven Lueth knows that the Great Bend City Band’s summer concert season is at the mercy of fickle Kansas weather. When the band kicked off its 2015 series a week ago, the concert had to move across the street and indoors, to the comfort of the Crest Theater. This Thursday, music lovers were able to listen outdoors, with the performance in the Moses Band Shell south of the Barton County Courthouse.
Lueth, the instrumental music instructor at Barton Community College, directs the City Band, made up of area musicians. After playing “The Star Spangled Banner” and getting things started with a Scottish jig, “The Hundred Pipers,” Lueth announced the evening theme:
“It’s all about the weather,” he said, explaining the difference between a storm watch and a storm warning. “Storm Warning” was also the name of the band’s next number, followed by “Rainy Days and Mondays.”
“This is ‘Rainy Days and Thursdays,’” he joked.
The piece “Cyclone” was introduced with some history about the Great Bend Tornado of 1915, which caused an estimated $600,000 in damage. That’s nearly $14 million in today’s money (source: http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/dollars.php).
For “The Falling Rain,” Lueth engaged the crowd in some audience participation, asking everyone to snap their fingers on cue to make the sound of rain.
More outdoor concerts will be held at 8:15 p.m. at the band shell on Thursdays, June 11, 18 and 25, weather permitting. There is some seating; lawn chairs and blankets are also welcome. Free bottles of water are provided by the Golden Sheaf Chapter No. 226, Order of the Eastern Star, Great Bend.
A special jazz band concert will also be held at 8:15 p.m. at the band shell on June 26.
In case of inclement weather, the outdoor concerts will be moved across the street to the Crest Theater.
July concerts will be held indoors at 8:15 p.m. in the Crest Theater on Thursday, July 2 and 9.
The final concert will be Monday, July 13.
Lueth also reminded the audience that the Prairie Winds Jazz Quartet will play in the band shell at 11 a.m. Saturday while June Jaunt activities are going on. In Ellinwood, also part of the K-96 June Jaunt celebration, the Little Big Band will be featured in a big band swing dance at the American Legion from 9 p.m. to midnight.