‘We’re back’ / MCCC band returns to stage Monday night

More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic silenced their music, band members gathered for practice. Perched in a semicircle, eyes directed to the maestro clad in a black sport coat, the blend of instruments created frisson, musically induced goosebumps.

Monday at 7:30 p.m., under the guidance of veteran music director Mark Felder, the Monroe County Community College-Community Symphony Band is returning to the stage at the Meyer Theater, La-Z-Boy Center, Monroe County Community College, 1555 S Raisinville Rd.

The free concert, titled “We’re Back,” will feature 96 band members along with guest soloist Elizabeth Mitchell and guest artist Dr. William McCloskey.

Mitchell

Mitchell, a professional opera singer from Ann Arbor, will be performing two songs including “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Hall” by Michael Balfe.

McCloskey, a Monroe resident and former MCCC dean of humanities and social sciences, will be doing two narrations based on poems for the audience.

“We’re expecting a packed house,” Felder said. “I believe the community is looking forward to us coming back after such a long absence. Our last concert was in February 2019.”

Mark Felder, 69, has directed the Monroe County Community College-Community Symphony Band, consisting of students and local musicians, for nearly three decades.

Felder, 69, has directed the musical group, consisting of students and local musicians, for nearly three decades.

It was the beginning of March when the entire band was allowed to return to campus to practice, and rehearsal almost began immediately.

“When we got the approval to return to campus, I put the word out and was hoping for 60 or 70 people and we got over 90. That’s exciting and encouraging,” Felder said. “The first night back was truly magical. There was an energy in the air that was hard to describe. It was like 70-year-old folks acting like 4-year-olds on Christmas morning.”

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