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Celebrating a Decade of Music

The Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band has been playing for audiences the last 10 years. It will celebrate Saturday with a big gala concert.

The past decade has passed quickly for Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band conductor, Howard Green. “It doesn’t feel like 10 years,” Green said. “When we started this it was sort of an experiment – didn’t know if it would take off or not. Here were are 10 years later, and we’ve got 70 people in the band.”

The Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band held its first rehearsal in 2001 with the support from the Village of Buffalo Grove Arts Commission. The band has performed more than a hundred concerts in the last 10 years and continues to expand its repertoire of music from classical to Broadway to pop and jazz.

“It’s gone from an experiment with 40 people to a full scale program,” Green said.

The Band is “celebrating a decade of music” with at ’s Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Special guest Wayne Messmer, who’s known for singing the National Anthem at Chicago sporting events, will narrate a new band arrangement of “Casey at the Bat.” He’ll also sing a medley with his wife, Kathleen, from "The King and I" and "Man of La Mancha."

“The fact that it’s the 10th anniversary is a big deal,” Wayne Messmer said. “Anytime I get a chance to sing, I jump at that opportunity. And really to show that if nothing else, I know more than one song – the National Anthem.”

Flute player Bonnie Gold has played with the band since day one, but it had been a long time since she picked up her flute. “I hadn’t played for 36 years,” Gold said. “When the band started, it was a thrill. I love sitting in this group and making music.”

Flute player Alice Boghosian drives from Park Ridge each week for rehearsals. “It’s in my blood. My father was Howard Green’s first clarinet teacher and owned a music store,” she said. “I just hope people can enjoy and understand the passion we have when we make music. I hope they an feel the emotion and just enjoy it.”

The band is the first and only adult community instrumental group in Buffalo Grove. Besides performing regular concerts, the members play for students in schools, hoping to pass on some music education.

“As a parent, I wanted to show my children you can keep music in your life – your whole life,” Gold said.

Green said he hopes everyone just comes out to their concerts and enjoys hearing them play. “We’re entertainers and above everything else, I hope people see what music can be like,” he said. “We’re the closest thing that people in the neighborhood have to having their own symphony.”

The Choir and the entire brass section of the Stevenson High School Honor Band will also perform in the anniversary concert. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door and $8 for seniors and students with an ID. Contact the Village Manager's Office at 847-459-2517 for more information.

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