The sound of music

Local woman attempts to start parade band

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One important element has been missing from Craig's last few parades.

Floats, fire trucks, ambulances and veterans have all been part of Grand Olde West Days, the Moffat County Fair and the annual Festival of Lights, but marching bands have been noticeably absent.

Craig resident Karen Brown is out to do something about it. Even if she can't get 76 trombones in the big parade, she'd like to see a few horns, some woodwinds and a couple of drums.

Before GOWD, Brown contacted high school marching bands in Rangely, Maybell and Steamboat Springs, none of which could participate in the parade.

So she began work on assembling an "All Parade" marching band, only she said she doesn't have the knowledge to lead it herself. She was hoping a community member would step up , but so far, she hasn't heard from anyone.

"Someday, somebody will say, 'I'll start it up,'" Brown said.

Now several months have passed, and Brown said she's basically where she started.

She's looking for people who know how to play an instrument, and marching band experience would be preferable. She said she'd like to see middle school and high school students come out for the parade band.

She's heard from a couple such people, but said the volunteers have been "sporadic." The biggest obstacle has still been finding someone who can lead the band.

Ryan Lokteff has been the band director at Moffat County High School for the last two years. During that time, the high school band hasn't marched in any local parades.

The high school band, comprised of 30 members, missed the Grand Olde West Days parade because, being new in town, Lokteff didn't know about it, and parade sponsors didn't contact him.

He said the Festival of Lights parade is problematic because it's so cold during the Thanksgiving weekend event. During one of the last Moffat County High School football games, it was so cold that condensation inside band members' instruments froze. The parade is even later in the year, so Lokteff said freezing instruments would pose just as much of a dilemma.

But he said he hopes to have the band march in 2004's Grand Olde West Days parade.

Pres Askew is helping found a Boys and Girls Club in Craig. The club encourages its members to get involved in performing arts. Askew has been in touch with Brown about having club members participate in the marching band.

Both Brown and Askew stressed that along with a leader, the band would appreciate instrument donations.

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