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Striking up a community band: Musicians sought from Woodbury

Calling all tuba and flute, clarinet and trumpet players from Cottage Grove, Woodbury and elsewhere: the Valley Concert Winds want you.

The new community band, which will be based in Stillwater, needs brass and woodwinds players as well as percussionists. Anyone who lives within half an hour of Stillwater is welcome. Those who live farther away— hey, you're welcome too, if you want to make the drive. The Valley Concert Winds will play marches and traditional music along with more contemporary numbers from Disney and other movies, co-founder and saxophonist Kyle Manley said.

"It's for people who have a dusty instrument they haven't played in a while because they haven't had the opportunity to," he said. "It's kind of continuing education, I guess, for musicians. There's a lot of effort and learning that goes into learning an instrument."

Manley and co-founder James DeCaro teach music on the faculty at the middle school at St. Croix Preparatory Academy, where rehearsals will take place from 7-9 p.m. Monday nights beginning June 5.

"We kind of saw a need in the Stillwater area and in the east metro for a community band," he said. "There's been a resurgence in community bands in the twin cities metro."

They hope to recruit at least 60 members. Two performances already are planned July 13 and August 17.

"There's no audition but if they've played through high school, that's sort of all we're looking for," Manley said.

Current high school students can apply but must submit a recommendation from one of their music teachers.

For more information, call 651-395-5900 ext. 5022 or

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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