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By Heidi Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
The Pagosa Springs Community Band invites you to enjoy a free concert on the Fourth of July at 2 p.m. on the back lawn of The Springs Resort, near the footbridge across from the county courthouse. Bring a blanket and enjoy a variety of patriotic songs in celebration of Independence Day.
The band, with more than 35 members, was formed with the goal to raise awareness of instrumental music, provide music education to student and adult players alike, and to celebrate the joy of playing and performing instrumental music for our community. The Community Band is led by Larry Baisdon, who hails from Texas and was at the helm of a large high school music department during his professional career. Our band is fortunate to have him at the helm.
The Pagosa Springs Community Band will play a variety of patriotic anthems and marches, including John Philip Sousa’s famous “Semper Fidelis” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” which is the official march of the United States of America.
Sousa was a premier American composer and conductor. At age 26, he became conductor of the United States Marine Corps Band and remained leader of the band for five presidential administrations. Over his career, his band toured tirelessly and, in its first seven years, gave 3,500 concerts in 400 different cities.
This year, the Pagosa Springs Community Band will again be playing Sousa’s “Washington Post March.” The “Washington Post March” was written by Sousa in 1989 at the request of the Washington Post newspaper for their essay contest awards ceremony. Sousa obliged and the march was performed for the first time June 15, 1989. The “Washington Post March” was an instant hit and led to Sousa being dubbed “The March King.”
This year’s concert will also feature vocalists from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Choir and from the Pagosa Springs Community Choir joining the band for the Pledge of Allegiance and a medley of armed forces anthems that features the service songs for each branch of the military. These songs, sung by our local vocalists and accompanied by the Pagosa Springs Community Band, will be sure to strike a chord within the audience for love of our country and appreciation of the freedoms we enjoy — given to us, in part, by members of our military in all branches of service, both past and present.
The Pagosa Springs Community Band is very appreciative of The Springs Resort, which is hosting this concert for the third year in a row. Please join us for a festive and patriotic band concert on the back lawn of The Springs Resort at 2 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Our members look forward to playing for you and celebrating our nation’s birthday.