Beginner Band Festival Announced for Pine City
Band students from throughout central Minnesota will converge on Pine City on Saturday, May 2 for a very special band festival. But unlike most honor bands featuring elite high school students, the beginner band festival has a unique eligibility requirement: you can participate only if you’ve been in band for less than twelve months.
Beginner Band Festivals (BBF) have been taking place in various locations throughout the state for the past several years and are sponsored by the Minnesota Band Directors Association. In the past two years, local band director Brad Mariska has had several students participate in BBFs in the Twin Cities, but wished for something that served students in East Central Minnesota more directly. So when the time came to select locations for the 2009 festivals, Mariska volunteered to host.
While a lot of work goes into organizing an honor band for elementary students, the payoff is great and exposes talented fifth graders to new music and students from a variety of schools both near and far. Students also spend several hours working with a talented and motivated conductor. The director of the Pine City BBF will be Chris Gumz, who directs the sixth grade band at Valley View Middle School in Edina. He is a member of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds.
Pine City’s festival takes place on Saturday, May 2 and culminates in a noon concert that is free and open to the public.