Barry McNamara  |   Published April 21, 2022

A Musical Start to May

Monmouth College’s Symphonic Concert Band to team with guests for annual spring concert on May 1.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – For his first spring performance in charge of the Monmouth College Symphonic Concert Band, director John Eckstine is bringing in two guest conductors and another College musical group.

JOHN ECKSTINE: In first few months on the job, new director has grown Symphonic Concert Band from... JOHN ECKSTINE: In first few months on the job, new director has grown Symphonic Concert Band from 14 to 35 members.The Symphonic Concert Band will present a half-dozen selections at 2 p.m. May 1 in the Kasch Performance Hall of the College’s Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

“The Monmouth College Symphonic Concert Band has improved greatly since our first meeting in January,” said Eckstine. “Beginning with 14 students, we have been able to grow the ensemble to 35 members by incorporating current college students with local high school and community band musicians.”

After Eckstine directs the opening piece, “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, the first of two guest conductors will take the stage. Andrew Empey, director of bands at Galesburg High School, will lead the band in a performance of “Kentucky 1800” by Claire Grundman.

One of the band’s members, French horn player Lisa Hallen, is also the assistant director of bands at Monmouth-Roseville High School. She will take the conductor’s baton to lead a performance of “The Great Locomotive Chase” by Robert W. Smith.

After Eckstine leads a rendition of “Amparito Roca” by Jamie Texidor, the Symphonic Concert Band will team with the Monmouth College Wind Ensemble, directed by Morgan Miller.

The two groups will perform “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

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