The Great Bend City Band held its annual patriotic concert Thursday night, with a selection of eight historical marches that date back to the Civil War and culminating with a rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Prior to the start of the concert, Director Steven Leuth invited children to enter their names for a drawing to win free ice cream, and to be picked to conduct the final number.
The evening began with Ceremony of Allegiance, including a reading of the Preamble to the Constitution and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. These were followed by “Lincoln at Gettysburg,” and “The Liberty Bell March.”
Pearl Harbor survivor Art Gruber, visiting from Oklahoma, was recognized for his service prior to the band’s rendition of “Elegy,” a tribute to the many soldiers who perished on the USS Arizona.
Service members from all branches were also recognized during the performance of “Armed Forces Salute,” with members and their families invited to stand during the theme representative of their branch of service.
Leuth then paused to draw winners, and the children were invited to take a flag and follow in a march around the Courthouse Square, led by Sons of the American Revolution member Stan Jantz, attired in his traditional Revolutionary War styled uniform.
Madeline Bonine won the drawing to be the conductor for the final selection.
Leuth thanked the Crest Theater for their generosity in allowing the band to store equipment there between concerts. He also thanked the members of the Great Bend Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, who make water available at each of the weekly concerts.
There has been excellent participation this year from both the Great Bend City Band and the audience, Leuth said. Large crowds have been there for every concert so far.
“I’m really honored to work with these people because we do more performances than any other city band in the area, except for possibly Salina,” he said.
The band is always looking for good musicians, and those interested can get in touch with Leuth at Barton Community College.