By Rob Whitmire
The Stevens Point City Band, under the direction of Kathryn Kawleski, will present its eighth concert of the summer season on Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 PM in the Pfiffner Pioneer Park band shell.
“Music!” will be the theme as the band plays selections featuring exclamation points in their titles, including “Gershwin!”, “Viva Italia!”, “Metal!”, “Duke Ellington!”, “Pirates!”, “Santana!” and “Sinatra!”. Fred Jewell’s “They’re Off!” will be the music for the weekly children’s march.
The Stevens Point City Band dates back to 1890 and is the consolidation of two original bands directed by Max Neseman and L.D. Fisher. The bands consolidated after Fisher moved away under the name of the Union Band.
The Union Band continued until 1905 when Ernest Weber, a prominent local figure on the music scene took the baton. The band continued under Weber’s baton until 1952 when Jim Welihan took the baton. Also on the podium during the history of the band were Bob Van Nuys, Dan Stewart, and Don Greene.
The band changed its name to the Stevens Point City Band in the early 1920s and was also known as the Eagles band for a short period in the early 1940s.
During its first few years the band played on Main Street. Other venues over the band’s existence include the old public library, the front terrace of the University Center, South Side Memorial Park, Mead Park, and for a time the old heating plant at Emerson School.
The bandshell, currently located along the Wisconsin River, was dedicated in 1977, the result of a Bicentennial fundraising effort spearheaded by the Stevens Point Junior Women’s Club.
Michele’s Restaurant and Catering of Stevens Point will provide food for purchase before and during the concert. Concerts are free and held Wednesday evenings through August 3. Audience members should bring chairs or blankets for seating.
In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the gymnasium at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, 1919 Wyatt Avenue, Stevens Point.