“Not Your Average March” Kicks Off Dexter Community Band’s 42nd Season


By Todd Nissen, Contributor

March in November? Why not? Especially if it’s “Not Your Average March,” the theme of Dexter Community Band’s free fall concert and the start of its 42nd season.

At the risk of over-stepping our marching puns, everyone is invited to parade to the Center for Performing Arts in Dexter High School, 2200 North Parker Road, Dexter, for the 3 p.m. concert on Nov. 12.

With so many styles to pick from, Director William W. Gourley was looking to march to a different drummer for the season opener.

“We are opening our 2023-2024 concert season by performing nontraditional marches that are outside the oom-pah style generally associated with the march,” he says.

There are marches from Europe, like the fast-tempo Montmartre March from Hayden Wood’s Paris Suite. There’s Radetzky March from Austria’s Johann Strauss composed in honor of Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz of Habsburg fame. There’s Pierre Leemans’ March of the Belgian Paratroopers (apparently, if you’re going to drop from the sky in Belgium, you hit the ground marching).

It goes on. There’s Percy Grainger’s Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away (you’ll hum this one for days). And there’s the march tune that every former and current high school band student will know, Second Suite for Military Band in F Major by Gustav Holst.

Switching to this country, there’s the march from Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams and a couple of pieces from that American master of marches, John Philip Sousa, who is featured in the concert poster by graphic artist and trombone player Mike Savitski

After the November concert, Dexter Community Band has three more free concerts in its 2023-24 season.

  • December 3, 2023 – A Festive Holiday
  • February 25, 2024 – Escape the Winter Blahs
  • May 19, 2024 – An Afternoon with Gershwin

Founded in 1982, the Dexter Community Band is comprised of volunteer musicians from the local area. A registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the band performs professional-level symphonic wind music at four free concerts a year. There are also several free “Evening of Ensembles” featuring small groups from the band. For additional information about the band or how to provide financial support, please visit http://www.dextercommunityband.org/.

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