Got the Winter Blahs? Plan Your Escape with Dexter Community Band’s Free Concert


By Todd Nissen

Dexter Community Band Director William W. Gourley wanted to chase off the winter blahs. So, he whipped up a concert with strains of Mardi Gras, a Mexican folk song, a Disney getaway, buglers on holiday and even a Spanish bullfight.

As it has throughout this season, the band will be featuring individual members and sections during the concert.

For the winter concert that includes Matteo Carcassi, the band’s principal euphonium. Matteo started playing the brass instrument when he was 10 years old because it was the biggest one he could find at the time outside of the drums.

Now 19 and a graduate of Pioneer High School, Matteo is pursuing an engineering dual degree in materials science and physics at the University of Michigan. But we’re glad he is taking time out from

Matteo Carcassi

his studies to play Vittorio Monti’s virtuoso composition Czardas.

Also featured this concert are several members of the Depot Town Big Band who play with Dexter Community Band: Christopher Balk, tenor and baritone saxophone; Ben Kessler, principal trombone; Neil McKay, principal tuba; and Rich Savitski, principal trumpet.

Look for solos from the group on When The Saints Go Marching In, a jazz arrangement of the well-known Mexican folk song Cielito Lindo, and Gelato con Caffé from composer Toshio Mashima.

An expanded DCB percussion section also gets a workout throughout the concert.

Finally, trumpet players Phil Rhodes, Rich Savitski and yours truly will be double-tonguing our way through the Leroy Anderson classic Bugler’s Holiday. (And if anyone knows what a bugler’s holiday is, or where they happen, please clue us in. We’d love to join them.)

The free concert takes place at the Center for Performing Arts in Dexter High School, 2200 North Parker Road, Dexter, at 3 p.m.

After the Feb. 25 event, Dexter Community Band has one more free concert in its 2023-24 season: “An Afternoon with Gershwin,” on May 19.

For additional information about the band, visit

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