Presidio Brass, a five member ensemble from San Diego, Calif., returns to Marshall County for a weeklong engagement. They are the next group part of the Marshall County Arts Cooperative’s season of artists. The brass group was here one year ago and received rave reviews from teachers, students, and community members. Leaders of the arts cooperative quickly decided to bring the group for a return engagement.
“We are looking forward to our extended stay in Marshall County as we perform for many different audiences,” said Miles McAllister, one of the group’s trumpet players. “Working with students in the area’s band programs will be especially important for us as we always aim to inspire the next generation of musicians.”
While here they will lead educational workshops for students in Axtell, Frankfort, Marysville, and Valley Heights schools. The area band teachers are excited for this opportunity.
“MCAC has provided an amazing opportunity for our students in this rural area to be exposed to some of the best musicians in the world,” said Jamie Minneman, band director at Marysville. “It’s something I, as a teacher, would not be able to do on my own without traveling to a large city.”
It was during an educational performance in 2006 that Miles McAllister, then a high school junior in southern California, heard Presidio Brass. McAllister credits that performance as a moment of inspiration for his musical career.
“Presidio Brass ended up coming to my high school and performing for us,” McAllister explained. “Most of the Presidio Brass members became the brass coaches for our band program and ran weekly sectional rehearsals. It really has come full circle for me, having been wowed by them as a high school student to less than ten years later becoming a member of the group. I think it’s a pretty good illustration of how you never know where music is going to take you.”
The ensemble consists of McAllister on the trumpet; Steve O’Connor, trumpet; Geoff Durbin, euphonium and trombone; Josh Bledsoe, trombone; and Mike Frasier, tuba and piano.
In addition to working in the schools the ensemble will perform well-known songs from Broadway at a free concert, “… And All That Brass!,” Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Frankfort United Methodist Church.
Before the concert members of the Frankfort Development Trust will serve a Potato Bar from 5 to 7 p.m. in the church basement. Potatoes, a variety of toppings, drinks, and desserts will be served for a freewill donation.
Throughout the concert the ensemble infuses wit and humor in between songs. “Humor is used so the audience gets to know us as a group and individuals,” McAllister explained. “By the end of the concert, people get a real insight into our persona and they can tell we enjoy performing for them as much as we enjoy performing with each other.”
The group’s residency concludes with a performance at the “Marshall County Canteen: Big Band Swing and Dance” Friday, April 13, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Landoll hangar, Marysville Municipal Airport.
The brass ensemble will play songs from the Great American Songbook with members of the Marshall County Community Big Band.
“It’s like a USO show,” said Sally Oliver, a board member for the arts cooperative. “There will be a dance floor in the middle of the hangar so people can dance to these wonderful songs.”
Two hundred tickets are available for the event. Tickets are $5.00. Veterans, active military, and their spouses are admitted free to the event; however, they need to pick up a free ticket by April 6.
Free tickets may be picked up or tickets may be purchased at CJ Express East and West, Chamber of Commerce, Marysville; Elsie Grace’s Gift Shoppe and Fudge Factory, Frankfort; and Gators Hometown Foods, Blue Rapids.
“Tickets are selling fast,” said Oliver. “We encourage people to buy them before the event.”
Local vendors will sell homemade pie and ice cream, sloppy joes, beer and wine. Complimentary coffee and water will be available.
Parking attendants will be available to direct traffic; parking for anyone with special needs will be directly next to the hangar.
For more information about their residency or performances people may visit the arts cooperative’s website marshallcountyarts.org.