To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Stewartville Community Band is stepping out of its traditional role.

Usually a presence in parades, particularly the city’s Fourth of July parade, this year the band is putting on three free concerts at different locales this summer.

The dates are:

• June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Johns Lutheran Church parking lot.

* July 16 at 6 p.m. at Bear Cave Park.

• Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church parking lot.

Food and beverages will be provided at each concert. In the event of a rainout, the concerts will be rescheduled a week later.

The band was the brainchild of the late George Rosin, whose idea of a community band back in 1979 was at first met with some skepticism.

“I know George had to convince the high school and community that there would be interest, and I think they were surprised at how many people came out and played,” said Kathryn Tordsen, a trombonist in the band.

The 15-member band plays in about five parades a summer. For the trio of summer concerts, the band has expanded its repertoire, including show tune numbers, more patriotic marches and songs from the Wizard of Oz movie.

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The concerts are not only an anniversary celebration, but an effort to raise the band’s profile and get more people interested in joining the band. The band has gotten older, and the hope is to attract some younger musical blood. The person doesn’t have to be a professional. Just have a love of playing music.

The group is also welcoming of people who live outside Stewartville, Tordsen said. Several musicians from Rochester, for example, have played with the band for years. And if you can play but don’t have an instrument, don’t worry. One could be found for you.

“We will certainly try to find one. Most people don’t have a tuba, and we have a tuba at the high school. We also can use the drum set,” Tordsen said.

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Matt, a graduate of Toledo University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature, got his start in journalism in the U.S. Army. For the last 16 years, he has worked at the PB and currently reports on politics and life.