Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts Hosts All-America Concert Band

by Christine Wiese

Siouxland’s All-America Concert Band, sixty members strong, came to Holstein last Sunday and gave a performance that took the audience back to the glory days of Turner Hall. So much music – so many memories.

There were even some farmers in attendance who paid the Band the supreme compliment of climbing out of their combines on a beautiful autumn afternoon and into their Sunday duds to be in their seats at 2:00 sharp waiting for the opening strains of the National Anthem. “Oh, boy!” said one of them at the end of the program. “Did we ever enjoy that!” And so did all the rest of us.

Like all good band concerts do, this one offered a bit of everything. There were selections from Verdi to Sousa; from Ellington to Gregson. There was something for everyone – for the kids bouncing in their seats to “El Capitan” to a ninety something lady sitting in her wheelchair keeping time to the big band tunes of her salad days. Surely she must once have danced to “String of Pearls” and “Satin Doll”. Interspersed among all this were polkas thrown in at random in deference to Holstein’s German heritage. “Hey, Chuck.” called out announcer Dave Madson to director, Charles Dibley. “We’re in Holstein. You know what that means!” “Yep.” came the reply. “We need another polka.” They gave us three and the audience responded with wide smiles and clapped exuberantly along with the music. It was a delight. As a matter of fact, “The Clarinet Polka” nearly had a couple of Holstein’s German Band members up dancing in the aisles. As Fats Waller might have said, “The joint was jumping!”.

However, the piece de resistance was Katie Pacza’s interpretation of Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” by Dvorak. She quite literally held the audience captive. There was no coughing, no clearing of throats, no shifting in seats. Her wonderful voice took us away into a world of pure beauty and as her last note ended, the auditorium resounded to the sound of a standing ovation. It was a grand thing to have been there for that.

Now we look forward to the next event at the Center. There will be two performances of Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, both an evening show and an afternoon matinee. The dates are November 6th and 7th. Call 712-368-4849 for ticket information or check the website at