Missoula Community Concert Band returns to the stage

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Posted at 10:13 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 09:55:16-04

MISSOULA - Outdoor concerts are a sure sign of summer in Missoula, and you can see one of the first performances Wednesday night when the Missoula Community Concert Band returns to the stage.

“It's time to get back, everybody's ready, and we're ready, and it's gonna be great,” said trumpeter Ross Tate.

Live music is on the mend, and it’s live music that’s part of the reason people like Tate and fellow band member Tom Trigg are drawn to Missoula.

“It makes Missoula a seriously cool place to live,” said Trigg.

While most musicians in the band come from different backgrounds with various levels of skill, music brings them together.

“We have people who have been doctors and lawyers and university teachers and scientists in labs up the Bitterroot Valley,” explained Trigg, who plays euphonium and currently serves as president.

It’s the individual strengths that carried the hodgepodge of musicians through the pandemic, through 30-some years of concerts, and whatever else they've yet to face.

“I expect it to go on for a long time because it’s a good kind of organization,” said Trigg.

Between laughs and dancing at Monday’s rehearsal, members were reminded of just how good it is to be back after a two-and-a-half-year pandemic pause.

“I'm here to play music with all sorts of people who have cultural backgrounds, professional skills, and various levels of musical ability – small, medium, and large,” said Tate. “We come here and have fun playing and our quality of music is really good.”

Leading the charge and keeping the tempo is Ben Kirby. “I am conducting the Missoula Community Concert Band at a concert this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bonner Park — at the bandshell, and we're going to throw down seven different tunes."

From Ukraine to Australia, Korea and England, the selections are as unique as the members of the group.

“Music is full of love, it's full of passion, and Dr. Ben Kirby has been our conductor, but he's also been our guide, and he's bringing us together so we are going to be ready to play and just turn it on,” said Tate.

According to Kirby, “you're going to have a good time because we're going to have a good time.”

The show, titled "Music from Earth," begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Bonner Park.