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      Preparing patriotic music for the 4th

      Patriotic music, like "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa, is what audience members will hear at upcoming performances of the Marquette City Band.

      Band director Stephen Grugin listed some of the music that his group will play.

      "National music, our national anthem, our national march. Songs by Irving Berlin, Olympic music by John Williams," said Grugin.

      The 87 member concert band that performs throughout the summer, includes many instruments. Flutes, clarinets, trumpets, French horns, tubas, and percussion, among many others, make up the ensemble.

      "It's an opportunity to bring all of the people in the band together, all the different occupations they have and their interests, all the different ages with an audience, hopefully, that's appreciative," Grugin said.

      Ben Bohnsack is President of the Marquette City Band Board of Directors. He is also a member of the trumpet section, which includes a musician who is only 12 years old and one in his 90s.

      "It really adds to the quality and character of the band and what we experience as members," said Bohnsack of the age range.

      Abby Reynolds played in the group throughout high school. She is happy to rejoin when she is on break from college and in Marquette for the summer.

      The band's performances at the Presque Isle band shell are enjoyed by audience members of all ages.

      "It's just really nice to be out, outside in the beautiful U.P. and listen to music at the same time," said Reynolds.

      Bohnsack described the environment at City Band concerts as "casual and fun."

      "People bring their lawn chairs, they bring their food, they sit and visit with each other before and after the concerts, and it's a really good atmosphere to enjoy the summer," Bohnsack said.

      According to Bohnsack, the band is funded by many benefactors but receives its largest chunk of money from the city of Marquette.

      "It adds a spirit to the community," he commented. "It's one thing to provide infrastructure and utilities, but it's something else to provide the kind of cultural life that enriches us all."

      The Marquette City Band will perform two upcoming concerts. The first is Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the band shell at Presque Isle Park.

      And next Wednesday, on the Fourth of July, the band will play at the International Food Fest at Lower Harbor Park at 6 p.m.