Following a summer of 1979 concerts of the Boise City Band (a group funded by the Musicians Union Trust fund and the City of Boise), a small group of dedicated band musicians (Ron Morris, Russ Mamerow, Ron Berto and Alan Anderson) met at the Vista Bar for a carbonated hop flavored libation. Discussions at such meetings can be wide ranging but this meeting centered around the possibility of the summer band continuing throughout the year. It was decided to contact Melvin Shelton, City Band director and Boise State University (BSU), director of winds to discuss the possibility. A meeting was set at Mel’s home and plans were set in motion. At the next meeting a list of folks who might be interested in playing throughout the year was gathered and ground rules for the ensemble were considered. It was agreed that the group would be skilled musicians and music educators (not that music educators are not skilled) and the group would be a wind ensemble, about 40 or so members. The ensemble would meet on Wednesdays as not to conflict with family home evening, most high school athletic events and the Boise Philharmonic rehearsals. The new group would perform traditional literature, new compositions and follow a traditional band concert format. The newly formed ensemble would prepare 3 concerts through the year and perform them at BSU and then in the community, reaching from Grandview to Weiser. The head of the BSU music department gave tentative approval to rehearse in the BSU band room in the fall of 1979. At the second or third rehearsal the group received the go-ahead to continue and received approval for continuing education college credit for music educators.
First Interstate Bank has been our sponsor for a number of years. With BSU and the Bank’s help we have increased the group to 75 members. This allows more opportunities for the musicians in the vital Boise music community to continue playing. We are proud to have performed nearly 250 concerts, including Northwest Music Educator conventions and at the Western International Band Conference in Seattle. We perform three regular concerts per year, repeating those concerts in communities throughout the Treasure Valley and sharing a concert with school bands.
The ensemble demonstrates the importance of music education as a life-long endeavor and benefits of performance of live music to the artistic vitality of the community
Borah High School Auditorium
6001 W. Cassia St., Boise, ID 83709
Saturday, May 14th, 2022