Carl Bounds taught music at New Haven for 31 years. Before he retired from the school district, he took over the Hermann City Band about 12 years ago, when B.A. Wagner stepped down with a legacy stretching back in the 1940s.
The current band is comprised of 40 to 50 members that have been rehearsing since the first Monday in April. They have given a concert every Memorial Day since 2006, when the Clara Eitmann Messmer Amphitheater was dedicated. Previously, there were concerts on Flag Day, and there continue to be concerts the 4th of July and the first Sunday in August, so there are three concerts through the summer season.
Due to the late spring flooding, this year’s 4th of July concert will be held in the Hermann High School (HHS) auditorium at 7 p.m.
Band Leader Bounds says the audience can expect to hear patriotic music—marches and overtures.
“We always do our national march, the Stars and Stripes Forever,” said Band Director Bounds. “We usually end the concert with that. We’ll also do “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
He said a special surprise will be a song dedicated to late-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The song includes narration, compliments of Don Kruse, talking about the life of JFK.
“I enjoy the people in this band—they’re dedicated,” said Mr. Bounds. “They make it to all the rehearsals and [play in] the concerts. I guess they enjoy music or they wouldn’t be doing it.”
He gives special credit to HHS Band Director Ben Sachs for getting some of his students involved in the City Band.
“We’ve always had high school kids in the band, but it seems like he has gotten more of them to participate,” he mentioned. “I’m really thankful for his efforts.”
Director Bounds says the band this year skews more to brass, followed by the woodwind instruments, but they have had other instruments more on the fringe, like the occasional orchestral oboe or bassoon.
“I’m a bassoonist, but I can’t play and direct at the same time!” he exclaimed. “We can always use more woodwinds—flutes and clarinets, because they’re hard to hear outside.”
For those people that attend the concert Thursday night at the high school, Director Bounds makes a prediction.
“It’s great to be a part of people’s Independence Day celebration. If we can help make somebody feel more patriotic, feel more love for their country, that’s going to be exciting.”