August 11, 2017

Band losing director Liljedahl

Greater Des Moines Community Band director David Liljedahl is leaving the post he has held for six years.

Liljedahl and his wife Deb, who plays in the band, are moving to Cedar Rapids at the end of August to be closer to family.

Assistant director Christa Miller will replace him as director.

"It has been my honor to serve as your director these past six years. It has been a great and wonderful musical adventure. No other ensemble in my experience has had the receptiveness and the ability to play at such a high musical level all the various styles we have presented to our audiences," Liljedahl said in a letter to the "famous and fierce musicians" of the GDMCB. "From Gabrieli to Spike Jones, with some Holst, Bartok, Gershwin and "Chicken Dances" thrown in just to make it interesting, you have enriched the lives of many Iowans."

The band will play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the Bill Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. It's last concert of the summer season is set for 7 p.m. Monday at the Grand Suites Retirement Campus, 3801 Grand Ave., Des Moines. The concert originally scheduled at Adel Acres in Adel on Monday night has been cancelled.

August 9, 2017

Band ends summer season at State Fair, Grand Suites Retirement Campus

The Greater Des Moines Community Band will play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the Bill Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Musical selections will include "Midway March," "Armed Forces Salute," "National Guard March," "American Legion March," "Vietnam Veterans March," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Night and Day," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Come Thou Fount," "America the Beautiful" and "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

Band members should report to the stage by 4 p.m. Parking around the fairgrounds is limited, so the best way to get there is by bus from the Iowa Capitol. The Bill Riley Stage is in the middle of the fairgrounds behind the Administration Building.  The State Fair website has a map of the grounds.

The concert scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14, at Adel Acres in Adel has been cancelled.

Instead, the band will play at the Grand Suites Retirement Campus, 3801 Grand Ave., Des Moines, starting at 7 p.m. The band's concert at the latter site on July 17 was cancelled due to the heat and humidity that day. Band members should report to the Grand Suites Retirement Campus on Monday by 6:30 p.m.

Monday's program will include "Liberty Bell," "Midway March," "Armed Forces Salute," "National Guard March," "Vietnam Veterans March," "Akali Ike Rag," "Lawrence of Arabia," "At the Movies, the Classics," "Night and Day," "God Bless America," "Come Thou Fount," "America the Beautiful" and "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

May 31, 2017

Allen lands Prairie Meadows grant for band

GET TO KNOW: Organizations like the Greater Des Moines Community Band don't function without great people behind the scenes. We would like to feature those unsung heroes. This is the first of what we hope becomes many opportunities to showcase those individuals.

Kari Allen - Tuba. Kari recently secured a grant for the group from Prairie Meadows. Thank you Kari for your work behind the scenes. You rock!

Thank you for the kind words and allowing me to be featured; this goes against my true character. I prefer to be heard and not seen. I do what I do for the band’s benefit, not mine. The band maybe is lucky to have me, but I guarantee I’m luckier to have the band.

I grew up on a farm southwest of Perry where I still live today. Music wasn’t much a part of my younger years. My grandfather played saxophone and because he was my hero, I wanted to play saxophone, too. My saxophone days were short lived when I heard the sound of the French horn for the first time. After a brief conversation with my amazing high school band director, my life went to the brass section.

As my interest for music increased, so did my desire to learn new instruments, hence, that’s why I play tuba today. I just knew I wanted to be a band director someday. As my career path turned directions away from music education, I turned toward the conservation, park and recreation life. I have worked for the City of Johnston the past 12 years. When I’m not mowing grass, I enjoy bike riding, photography, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and working on my family farm. 

My hometown community band only plays during June. I began to miss playing the rest of the year. I remember looking through the Iowa State Fair schedule. I came across the Greater Des Moines Community Band as entertainment on one of the stages. I remember saying, “I really need to circle this and make sure I go see them.” I circled it and for the next three years I faithfully sat in the audience and wished I had enough courage to ask how I could be part of such a wonderful band. Finally with the encouragement of my family, I mustered up enough courage to ask. I am so happy I did.

To pick a favorite part of the Greater Des Moines Community Band would be nearly impossible. Playing in a community band is a unique experience. We all share a common passion and that is the love of music and playing. I walked in to the first rehearsal not knowing a single person and left feeling like a part of a family. Band not only provides me with stress relief, but also it has helped create and nurture some really great friendships.
Working for government agencies for almost 20 years, grant writing is a major funding source for us. The Prairie Meadows grant is one that we have used before, and I couldn’t see why it would apply to the band.  As I began researching the grant, it became apparent we were a perfect fit. 

May 22, 2017

Memorial Day concert details

The Greater Des Moines Community Band will open its 2017 concert season at the World War II Remembrance at 1 p.m. Monday, May 29.

The event will be held at the World War II Memorial on the east side of the Capitol at East 13th Street and Grand Avenue in Des Moines.

Band members should arrive and set up at 12:15 p.m. A picture of the band will be taken at 12:50 p.m.

Introductions and the playing of  "The National Anthem" will occur at 1 p.m.

At 1:10 p.m., the band will play "Armed Forces Salute," "American Legion March," "National Guard March" and "Vietnam Veterans' March."

The Young Patriots Club then will perform the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," the "Not Too Young" poem, "America the Beautiful" and "America's Creed."

Afterwards, the band will play "God Bless America," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "The Liberty Bell" and "Midway March."

A speaker is scheduled at 1:55.

The band is scheduled to play "Semper Fidelis" and "America the Beautiful" at 2:10 p.m.

A prayer, rifle salute and "Taps" is scheduled at 2:25 p.m.

Finally, the band will play "Stars and Stripes Forever" at 2:40 p.m.

The program will end at 2:45 p.m.

Band members should bring a chair, stand, clothespins or plexiglass, water and sunscreen in addition to their instruments.

Summer schedule announced

The 2017 summer schedule for the Greater Des Moines Community Band has been announced.
Times, dates and locations are as follows:
1 p.m. Monday, May 29, at World War II Memorial, East 13th Street and Grand Avenue, Des Moines.
7 p.m. Monday, June 5, at Kennybrook Village, 100 SW Brookside Drive, Grimes
7 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Wesley the Village, Indianola
7 p.m. Monday, June 19, Wesley Acres, 3520 Grand Ave., Des Moines
6:30 p.m. Monday, June 26, at The Gardens at Luther Park, 2901 E. 16th St., Des Moines
7 p.m. Monday, July 3, at Woodlands Creek, 12675 Woodlands Parkway, Clive
TBA, Tuesday, July 4, Fourth of July parade, Windsor Heights
7 p.m. Monday, July 10, at Prairie Hills, 5815 SE 27th St., Des Moines
7 p.m. Monday, July 17, at Grand Suites Retirement Campus, 3801 Grand Ave., Des Moines
7 p.m. Monday, July 24, at Edgewater, 9225 Cascade Ave., West Des Moines
TBA, Saturday, July 29, at Indianola National Balloon Classic parade
7 p.m. Monday, July 31, at The Shores of Pleasant Hill, 1500 Edgewater Drive, Pleasant Hill
7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at National Neighbors Night Out, Colby Park, Windsor Heights
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at Reserve on Walnut Creek, 2727 82nd Place, Des Moines
TBA, Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Iowa State Fair parade
4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Iowa State Fair on Bill Riley Stage
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, at Adel Acres, 1919 Green St., Adel
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, make-up date

February 13, 2017

Spring concerts looming

Only five more practices remain until the Greater Des Moines Community Band's spring concerts.

The first concert will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, in the food court at Merle Hay Mall, 3800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines.

The second concert will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26, at the First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave., Des Moines.

The third concert will occur at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, at Deerfield Retirement Community, 13731 Hickman, Urbandale.