Sentimental and patriotic, the McAllen Symphonic Band enchanted its third straight big audience at the McAllen Civic Center Feb. 9.

Director David Isadore lit a lively finish, causing a curtain call with more encores. The predominantly senior citizens in the audience included a big majority of Winter Texans.

This time, unlike the December Symphonic Band concert, there were not 300 disappointed people who never got inside. This time, the parking lots were jammed but everyone with tickets could get into the Civic Center.

The title “Love and Country” neatly fit both Valentine’s Day for lovers, and salutes to the many millitary veterans and their families.

Assistant director Manuel Arambula wielded a lively baton, directing one of the hottest pieces of music in this concert.

Frank Rios also sparkled with his solo of “Persuasion” on the alto saxophone.

The entire band deserves mention, but there is never enough space. More than 20 of the band members have been band conductors themselves at many places Some still are active in the Valley.

The encore following George M. Cohan’s “Star Spangled Salute!” was “Stars and Stripes Forever,” with the trio played on piccolos by members of the flute section aligned across the front of the stage.

The piccolo players were not singled out in the program, but all of the flutists deserve to be named. The flute section included Olivia Aguayo, Alma Arellano, Lynette Blanchard, Beth Van Epps, Kathy Gray, Em Laskey, Tony Lopez, Gina Isadore Randolph, and Pat Trimbell. Most of them doubled in flute and piccolo.

Of course every musician on that stage deserves more credit. Hopefully they will all recieve some praise personally, as time goes by.

The last concert of this season will be March 23, titled “Young at Heart.” Let’s hope thatall the musicians taste some individual mention by then. They work hard, unpaid, with great dedication. Just remember to get your tickets early.

Here are more comments from this Symphonic Band’s volunteer but highly trained musicians.

“It is my stress reliever,” Monica Rios, euphonium, band director, Mission.

“I like the talent of this band,” Thomas Boyle, trumpet, ninth grader, Mission.

“I enjoy the opportunity to perform with other musicians in this unique symphonic band,” Jessica Nichole Martinez, alto saxophone, San Juan, PSJA Memorial High School, assistant band director.

“Best—lots of new people of all ages to get to know; worst, not enough time for more practice to perfect music for concerts.,” Belinda Macias, tenor saxophone, McAllen.

“I love the Town Band,” Carlos Santana, trumpet, music director in private school.

“I love being able to play my instrument and keep up my skills,” Martha Clow, oboe, English horn, McAllen, registered nurse.

“I enjoy making music with friends!” Carlos Martinez, alto saxophone, Palmview, elementary music teacher.

“I like to come together with fellow musicians to create something we all enjoy—music.” Frank Rios, alto saxophone, Mission, band director, J.D. Salinas Middle School, La Joya.