Most all-year residents don’t realize that Hidalgo County supports three first-rate concert bands well worth attending.
Yet the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band contains eight retired band directors, and the 60 talented musicians come from 14 states, plus many Canadians.
All these senior citizens are veteran musicians. They are more experienced than the average ages for the Valley Symphony Orchestra and the McAllen Symphonic Band. All three orchestras have performed for large crowds at the McAllen Civic Center this year.
The last scheduled event for the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band this winter is March 14 at Pharr South Park in Pharr.
My wife Jerry and I enjoyed our first visit to the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in McAllen Feb. 28. The concert was part patriotic, part hit tunes of the past.
Two talented band directors from Minnesota, Gene Goede and Gary Meidt, shared the baton with Glenn Johnson that day. While the two directors played trumpet solos, Johnson, also a hot trumpetor and band director from Meadowlakes, Texas, directed.
Soloists like Bob Comeau on alto saxophone and Keith Woodend, singer, made special and unforgettable renditions from old favorites like “Persuasion” and “As Time Goes By.” Those two popular songs could make old-timers cry, if we remembered the words.
If there were any teen-agers in that concert I did not not spot them.
“Today’s kids don’t appreciate our music” has been a slogan of old folks throughout the past century in America. I hope that we Senior Citizens manage to preserve our great music of the past and remember it from the good old days. Some modern youth will eventually appreciate it.
The Rio Grande Valley Concert Band is preserving lovely music. Long may they wave the flag with such marches as “National Emblem” and “Semper Fideles.” They also played “O Canada,” the national anthem of Canada, and the “Star Spangled Banner.”
The final scheduled concert this spring will be at Pharr South Park March 14. “The cost is minimal at the parks, and the parks are generous to the band,” said Linda Ingram, a registered nurse and the only baritone saxophonist in the band.
All who love concert bands should plan to see them next fall and winter. They are certain to attract larger crowds and more media every year. Those Winter Texans include many musicians of impressive talent in orchestras and bands.