By Cathy Johnson
53 years. That’s how long the Ferris Community Summer Band has been in existence here in Big Rapids. While that is an amazing run of years for any organization, it is notable here because the band provides so much, for so many, for so little.
“Make music. Enrich the community. Enjoy the summer band.” That is the heading of the invitation from director Scott Cohen to local musicians to come and play a series of six concerts, presented in multiple community area venues. The actual “commitment” is quite open-ended: play as many weeks as you can.
Weekly Ferris Community Summer Band Concerts are presented outdoors throughout the greater Big Rapids area, including the Big Rapids Band Shell, the Canadian Lakes Castle, and local parks. All of them support local community endeavors such as the Roof Replacement Project at the Old Jail, the annual Spectrum Health Big Rapids Community Block Party, the Canadian Lakes Association, and the City of Big Rapids annual Band Shell Concert Summer Series.
Sponsored by Ferris State University as part of its “Music for Life!” initiative, the Ferris Community Summer Band is celebrating its 53rd year of bringing the campus and the community together through music. It is open — at no cost — to all area adults, college students, high school students, and advanced middle school students with band experience. Ferris students may also select to take Summer Band for credit as Music 160: Symphony Band.
Anyone who has ever attended one of the band’s concerts knows that it is nearly impossible to resist the allure of the music. Toes tap, hands clap, smiles abound. And all the audience has to do is bring their chairs or blankets to the park, and then sit back and enjoy. The multi-generational band and its director will do the rest.
The Ferris Community Summer Band is yet another example of the partnership between Ferris and the community which enriches both parties, and serves as an example of how working together, pooling resources and sharing creates positive effects for all. And this has been ongoing for over 50 years.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 13, at the Castle at Canadian Lakes, Wednesday June 20 at the Big Rapids Band Shell, Thursday, June 21 at Triangle Park, Wednesday, June 27 at the Big Rapids Band Shell, and Tuesday, July 3 at the Big Rapids Band Shell. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Rain location is the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church.
Come and hear the 53rd edition of the Ferris Community Summer Band as they fulfill their mission to enrich the community.