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Another Sunday in Siouxland, the Sioux City Municipal Band

17 Jul

I attended another local concert by the Sioux City Municipal Band. I was looking forward to seeing them play in another outside venue at Morningside College, the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where during the summer the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series are held. Except, in the advent of questionable weather.

Storm clouds hover over the area including the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where the Sioux City Municipal Band was going to perform before moving indoors to the Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Again it had been storming in and around the immediate and other Siouxland area. And for caution, the event was moved into the Eppley Auditorium which is just around the corner from the outdoor venue.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As always the band did a very nice program that included a solo performance by member Richard Bogenrief who did a trumpet solo, but also performed on a bugle a piece titled “The Bugler’s Lament” and accompanied by the band.

Solist Richard Bogenrief plays a bugle whie playing tHe Bugler’s Lament accompanied by the Sioux City Municipal Band as it performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the set is never complete without their announcer, emcee Dave Madsen who reminds everyone who attends that he is keeping his day job, as his jokes generally receive the snare drum tribute that occurred in many burlesque routines of the day. With a loud cymbal thwack for resonance and exclamation. But combined these local folk present a couple of hours of listening melody and respite from the daily goings on that we all need an escape from time to time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Emcee and host Dave Madsen introduces the next song as the Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Summer in Siouxland, Sioux City’s Municipal Band

23 Jun

 

During the summer months in Siouxland many small communities have local groups that perform free concerts for their residents. The Sioux City Municipal Band plays a summer concert series of eight performances on Sunday nights in Grandview Park which has a bandshell that was built during the 1930’s by the Civil Works Administration (CWA).

Summer concerts in general evoke an era of the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. Mild evenings, light breeze and music drifting over the area, some more enthusiastic than others depending on the play bill for the evening. But always delightful.

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band warms up as patrons arrive before playing a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People relax in their lawn chairs while listening to the Sioux City Municipal Band play a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Folk will bring picnic lunches as children run about and play and just joke in the evening as the sun settles on the horizon behind the bandshell and a nice way to start the week.

The Sioux City Municipal Band plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Patrons sit on the grass and in park seating as they listen to the Sioux City Municipal Band play a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) 

And generally throughout the eight week series the music offerings appeal to most everyone’s taste. The band members should also be congratulated for giving of their time to rehearse and then play for its community. It makes something special about summer nights and small towns.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Patrons enjoy the Sioux City Municipal Band as it plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Sun sets as the Sioux City Municipal Band plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

World Music in Siouxland, National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD

24 May

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble which plays Javenese music is part of the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a recent visit to the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD I and others enjoyed a Javenese music presentation by a local gamelan ensemble that performed in the small space at the museum. I enjoy a variety of music in general although I lean more toward jazz, classical and some world music. So it was a delight to hear this local group perform and share their  passion and delight.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Singer Andy Williams born in Siouxland, Wall Lake

16 May

 

I am always somewhat amazed but also delighted when I find a bit of nostalgia and history tidbits as I drive about Siouxland. One of those tidbits is the fact that the singer and entertainer Andy Williams was born in the small community of Wall Lake, roughly about 800 people. His birthplace and home for the first eight years of his life is now a restored show place in the community and maintained by the Wall Lake Historical Society.

An autographed photo of himself, Andy Williams, sits on an end table at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Wall Lake, IA, Historical Society Esther Bielema, seated, and Janice Determann, standing at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The day I visited the home I was greeted by a couple of enthusiastic members of the society and fans of Mr. Williams, Esther Bielema and Janice Determann. While the home is not filled from floor to ceiling with memorabilia, it is full of all sorts of historical items about the singer and his family and basically a shrine to a small town boy who made it big.

The birthplace of singer Andy Williams sits atop a hill overlooking downtown Wall Lake, Iowa, Friday, April 18, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Singer Andy Williams, left, with his parents Jay and Florence Williams appearing in one of his Christmas TV Specials on display at the singer’s birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various photographs of singer Andy Williams adorn the walls of his birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The downstairs bedroom where Wall Lake Historical Society member Esther Bielema and others believe that singer Andy Williams was born in 1934 at his birthplace home in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I can remember growing up that my parents watched the Andy Williams’ Christmas Specials on TV and while I don’t believe they had any of his records, the songs he sang are well known and include such hits as “Moon River”, “Abraham, Martin and John”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Dear Heart”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Born Free”.

While there a woman from Des Moines stopped in and walked about the home in awe. For Bielema and Determann the joy of the grand opening when Williams and his wife attended along with other family must have been a thrill they still feel today. History comes alive in places like this mostly because of those who help visitors enjoy it. And one never knows where other historical facts may pop up, but it’s nice to know such gems are still around to find.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An Introduction to the Mormon Trail near Siouxland, Council Bluffs

18 Apr

During a visit in southern Siouxland I stopped at the Kanesville Tabernacle in Council Bluffs. Being pressed for time I did not go inside to tour the historical site but learned later that is was where Brigham Young was “sustained” or acknowledged as the second president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Another historical mormon site in located in Omaha, NE which I did visit and gave me insight as what I might find at the tabernacle. I love history, even history I may not totally understand or even agree with.  As a fictional TV character once said, “It’s better to know than not know.”

And I believe that many people are looking for the path to Heaven and redemption through Jesus, it’s just that they are following different footpaths to get there. And whatever one’s proscribed faith, history helps inform us and then leaves us to determine what we should or not believe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The historical story of the Mormon trek from Nauvoo, IL to Slat Lake City, UT is partially told at the Kanesville Tabernacle located in Council Bluffs, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The historical story of the Mormon trek from Nauvoo, IL to Slat Lake City, UT is partially told at the Kanesville Tabernacle located in Council Bluffs, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The historical story of the Mormon trek from Nauvoo, IL to Slat Lake City, UT is partially told at the Kanesville Tabernacle located in Council Bluffs, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Contrasting Seasons in Siouxland, Morningside College

7 Feb

A number of Siouxland colleges have outdoor performing areas that are utilized in more accommodating months of the year, basically when it is warmer. Morningside College is no exception and hosts free performances over the summer. And so I find it interesting to contrast the recent snow storm and a couple of performances that occurred last summer. Time and place, it always seems to matter.

And it makes looking forward to those warmer months a cheerful thought as the temperatures dip again to below freezing and me reaching for another cup of coffee.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

An outdoor performing arts theatre looks very different during a blizzard on the campus of Morningside College which resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A nice crowd turned out for the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Benches at an outdoor performing arts theatre on the campus of Morningside College look different without patrons attending a show during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Attendees of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band keep the late afternoon sun off with a “patriotic” umbrellas at a 4th of July celebration concert at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A shortened performance of the popular Cats production over the weekend at Morningside College at the Betty Ling Tsang fine art series in the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter’s Magic and Art in Siouxland, Sioux City

5 Feb

During the last snow storm Sioux City and the Siouxland region had I was fascinated with some of the scenes I saw just blocks from my house. Prior to the snow there had been freezing rain and together the two created a sort of “live” pencil art exhibition turning the campus of Morningside College into a living exhibit. Except for a few other braves souls I was one of a few to witness this and enjoyed the scenes as I walked about seeing nature creating its own art under less than pleasant “human” condition.s

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Snow encrusted trees look like pencil drawings on the campus of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Snow encrusted branches of a tree on the campus of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Snow encrusted trees on the campus of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A snow encrusted pavilion on the campus of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

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