By Tim Leeds
Havre-area residents have an opportunity to see a top college band perform when the Concordia College Band stops in Havre Sunday.
Dee Heltne, who performed in the band when she attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., heartily encouraged people to attend, particularly anyone interested in being in a band. The performance will show students what it's like to be part of a major college or professional band, she said.
"It's wonderful to get into an organization, have an instrument in your hand, learn to play it well and be part of a band as good as the Concordia band," Heltne said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the best in the states."
The band, formed in 1899, has become a major group with an international reputation. The band tours in the United States every spring, and tours internationally as well. Its first international tour was in Norway in 1935, and the band celebrated its centennial with a tour of Iceland, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Norway and Sweden.
Numerous state and national organizations have invited the band to perform, including the Minnesota Music Educators Association, the National Music Educators Association, and the College Band Directors National Association. The band has recently performed with guest soloists from the Helsinki Radio Orchestra and the Canadian Brass.
The 2002 tour, which also includes stops in Williston, N.D., Missoula, Tacoma, Wash., Seattle, Eugene, Ore., and Redding, Calif., features student soloists Mark Egge on tenor saxophone, Joshua Haake on cornet and Sam MacDonald on trombone.
Featured pieces the band is scheduled to perform include "Festive Overture" by Dmitri Shostakovich and "Dance Movements" by Philip Sparke.
The Concordia band, directed by Russell Pesola, has 65 members who study privately with Concordia's performing faculty. The band features wind, brass and percussion instruments.
Pesola, who taught in public schools before taking the the helm of the Concordia band in 1975, has a doctorate in music from the University of Minnesota and played solo trumpet and served as assistant conductor during the University of Minnesota Concert Band Ensemble's seven-week tour of the Soviet Union in 1968. He teaches trumpet and instrumental music education courses at Concordia.
The Havre concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Havre High School auditorium, costs $5 for adults and $3 for students.