Concert Band combines campus and community players for Fall Concert

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County Campus/Community Concert Band practices ahead of its December 4 show

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County Campus/Community Concert Band will give its fall performance on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., in the Al. Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo.  Director Griffin James will lead the 50-plus member group through multiple selections by Wisconsin composers in a program he says will “showcase how much wonderful band music is coming out of our very own state.” 

The eight pieces on the program include arrangements of Rossini and Wagner, as well as original compositions from Brian Balmages, Mike Forbes, Rick Kirby, Pierre La Plante and John Stevens.  “It’s a wide range of styles that engage a lot of emotions, and I hope the pieces move the audience as they have moved us,” said James.   

James, who also serves as a band director at Baraboo High School, says it’s been a pleasure to have so many new faces, alongside the dozens of returning players.  “The Concert Band has increased in size this year, adding about 20 new players,” James said.  He added that players include two new 12-year-olds from the Baraboo schools on euphonium and tuba, as well as adults and the largest number of campus student players in many years.   

Colleen Austin, a freshman trumpet player, says playing in the band has enriched her campus experience. 

“Joining this community of musicians has really been great, and I’m so happy to be playing on campus,” she said. 

Karen Green, a clarinetist, had never played an instrument before, but joined along with her son Simon, a tenor saxophonist from Sauk Prairie High School. 

“Playing and sharing the experience with Simon has been so much fun, and I have had great support from all the experienced players,” she said. 

Karl Hoffman, a veteran player with the band, pointed out several retired area band directors in the group and said their presence showed the quality of the band and the concert selections. 

There is no admission charge or advance ticket required for the concert.  The Al. Ringling Theatre is located at 136 4th Avenue in downtown Baraboo. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.