News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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July 10, 2014

Gymnasium Heide-Ost Symphonic Band to perform July 18-19 at festival

Terre Haute Community Band Inc. has been selected to host the Gymnasium Heide-Ost Symphonic Band from Germany at the fourth annual “On the Banks of the Wabash” Community Band Festival on July 18 and 19 in Fairbanks Park.

The featured band is a 44-member ensemble on tour in the U.S. Midwest as part of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program. The free festival will begin at 6 p.m. July 18 and continue from noon to 9 p.m. July 19.

The GHO Symphonic Band is a high school ensemble from Heide, Germany, which is near the North Sea in the Schleswig-Holstein region. An important part of the Blue Lake student exchange program is that participants spend time with local families who have children of a comparable age.

Erika Cantin, German teacher at Terre Haute North Vigo High School and sponsor of the school German Club, worked with the THCB to secure host families for the Heide-Ost Band.

The students will arrive in Terre Haute on July 17 at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, where the Terre Haute Community Band has an office and rehearses. They will be officially welcomed by Mayor Duke Bennett and a representative from the college.

 Immediately after a tour of the college campus and the Sisters of Providence areas, including the White Violet Center, the band will rehearse in the Cecilian Auditorium. That rehearsal will begin at about 5:15 p.m. and will be open to the public. The students will meet their host families immediately after the rehearsal.

The Heide-Ost Band will perform two concerts at the festival. Their first appearance will be on Friday July 18 at 8 p.m. An opening act of local musicians, the New Age quartet, under the direction of Norman Hanson, will begin at 7 p.m. Performing in that quarter are Julia Ford on string bass, Curt Pennington on piano, Jim Thistle on drums and Hanson on trombone. The Heide-Ost performance on Saturday July 19 also will be at 8 p.m., the closing act for the festival.  

The Terre Haute Community Band initiated the annual festival in 2011 and at that time contacted the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp to request a band to appear in the local festival.

The request became reality this year and the THCB is anxious to provide its German guests with a warm welcome.

Terre Haute is the only city in Indiana to host a band or group this year. The Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program works in both directions with communities in Europe hosting American bands and musical ensembles. Nearly 1,000 talented young American and European musicians are expected to participate in the 46th annual Exchange Program during 2014.

By coincidence, Heide hosted an American group this summer.

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