For his first spring performance in charge of the Monmouth College Symphonic Concert Band, director John Eckstine will bring in two guest conductors and another college musical group.

The Symphonic Concert Band will present a half-dozen selections at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1, in the Kasch Performance Hall of the College’s Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

“The Monmouth College Symphonic Concert Band has improved greatly since our first meeting in January,” said Eckstine. “Beginning with 14 students, we have been able to grow the ensemble to 35 members by incorporating current college students with local high school and community band musicians.”

John Eckstine (photo courtesy of Monmouth College)

After Eckstine directs the opening piece, “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, the first of two guest conductors will take the stage. Andrew Empey, director of bands at Galesburg High School, will lead the band in a performance of “Kentucky 1800” by Claire Grundman.

One of the band’s members, French horn player Lisa Hallen, is also the assistant director of bands at Monmouth-Roseville High School. She will take the conductor’s baton to lead a performance of “The Great Locomotive Chase” by Robert W. Smith.

After Eckstine leads a rendition of “Amparito Roca” by Jamie Texidor, the Symphonic Concert Band will team with the Monmouth College Wind Ensemble, directed by Morgan Miller.

The two groups will perform “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.