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City Band adds second concert for big band lovers
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Kaitlynn Tuey, left, rehearses Valley Forge for a Great Bend City Band concert. The band will perform twice this week in the Barton County Courthouse Square, weather permitting. Next month, concerts will be at the Crest Theater. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend City Band doesn’t usually take requests, but this week it will offer an extra performance for fans of big band jazz music.
Director Kurtis Koch said the band will present its regular summer concert on Thursday, and a concert of music from the big band era on Friday. Both performances start at 8:15 p.m. at the bandstand in the Barton County Courthouse Square.
Every year after schools dismiss for the summer, more than 50 area musicians join the Great Bend City Band. Koch, a music instructor at Great Bend USD 428, joined the band in 1979 and in 1980 was asked to take over the director’s duties. His wife also plays in the City Band.
The regular Thursday concerts feature an assortment of marches, overtures and popular tunes, but this Friday the music will include hits from Woody Herman, Les Brown, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and others from the big band era.
“People have started asking some of the band members if it would be possible to do,” Koch said. The show will allow some of the more experienced band members to play some improvisational solos.
In case of inclement weather, as always, the concert will be held at the Crest Theater. In July, as the weather heats up, all of the concerts will move to the air conditioned theater at 1905 Lakin Ave. They will continue on Thursdays until the final concert of the season, which will be held on Tuesday, July 17.