Writer: Whitney Schulte
LOGAN – The USU Alumni Band will be performing the opening concert of the 2017 season this Sunday, June 25, at 7 p.m. on the USU Quad.
Founded in 1963 by Dr. Max F. Dalby, the Alumni Band consists of more than 300 alumni of the band program in the Caine College of the Arts (CCA) at USU, who have continued to perform seriously since graduation. In addition, a few talented students are invited to perform with the band, as are USU Department of Music faculty members. Each concert consists of 45-60 musicians, all of whom donate their services. The personnel changes for each concert depending on musical needs and schedules of band members.
“The USU Alumni Band reaches through the ages,” Rebecca Nelson, Alumni Band member, said. “My father, Max Dalby, began the tradition in the 1960s with USU music educators and others attending. Since then, many who have joined along the way are still coming to play. Each year new USU music student graduates take their rightful place in the band.”
There are five USU Alumni Band concerts each summer. Due to the outstanding talent of the musicians that comprise the band, the concerts are presented with only a single rehearsal on the day of the performance. In its history, the band has only had two music directors—Dr. Max F. Dalby and Dr. Nicholas Morrison.
This Sunday’s performance features the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants reunion ensemble, members of the American Festival Chorus, Colonel Arnald Gabriel, USAF (ret.) and USU alum Dr. Nathan Mensink.
Colonel Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36 year military career, at which time he was awarded his third Legion of Merit for his service to the U.S. Air Force and to music education throughout the country. He served as commander and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra and Singing Sergeants from 1964-1985. He was named the first conductor emeritus of the band in 1990. He continues to appear as a clinician at major state, regional and university music festivals and guest conducts outstanding school, college, municipal and military bands as well as orchestras around the world.
At Sunday’s season opener, the band will perform “Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” “Proud to Serve” and more.
“Bring a lawn chair and join us for an evening of patriotic music with some of the retired Singing Sergeants finest,” Dr. Morrison said. “It’s an honor to perform with these guests and bring them to the USU campus for the entire community to enjoy.”
This year’s Alumni Band concerts will be held on July 2, 16, 30 and August 6. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. The July 16, 30 and August 6 concerts will be held on the USU Quad. The July 2 concert will be held on the Hyrum City Square in conjunction with the town’s Independence Day celebration. In case of inclement weather, performances will be held in the USU Field House with the exception of August 6, which will be canceled.