(Photo Sentinel by Beverly Van Buskirk) The rest of the Le Mars municipal group applaud John Schneider and give him a standing ovation for his dedication and commitment to the community group for 50 years. Schneider is a member of the band’s saxophone section and is also the band’s treasurer.
MARCH ?? A long-time member of the Municipal Marching Band was honored for his 50 years as a member of the saxophone section.
John Schneider, who is the group’s treasurer, was honored with a plaque during the last concert of the 2021 season on July 21.
Schneider has been a member of the group’s board of directors since July 1998. He was also the group chairman when someone needed to replace Dick Bogenrief in 2008. In 2010 he became treasurer.
?? We want to take the opportunity to recognize John, because 50 years of doing anything is remarkable to say the least, and we wanted to commemorate that with a plaque that says, ?? In commemoration of 50 years with the Municipal Marching Band On March, With much appreciation and gratitude. July 21, 2021 ?? to Mr. John Schneider. Can I hear a wonderful Le Mars applause for John, ?? Corbit Butler, former chairman of the group, said.
Schneider later returned to his years with the Le Mars municipal orchestra, claiming he attended concerts before becoming a member.
?? I followed in my siblings’ footsteps as I remember going to concerts in Foster Park where they played when I was very young, ?? he said. “I joined the band when I was 16 and had a driving license and was able to drive myself to rehearsals and concerts. I don’t remember if I was asked, or if I volunteered or if Joe Brice just told me to do it. Brice was his conductor at Le Mars Community High School.
The first director of the Schneider municipal band was Phil Hauan.
?? I believe he was a director at LCHS some time before Joe Brice. At the time, he was CEO of NIPCO and later mayor of Le Mars, ?? Schneider said.
?? I missed a few years in the 70s when I was in college. I was not at Mars during concert season. I also missed about three years in the early 80’s as a busy young pork farmer and then Dean Pelz asked me to come back, ?? Schneider said.
?? First of all, playing in the group is fun, and I think more every year, ?? he said. ?? I feel young playing with a group that is mostly younger than me. I love the camaraderie of the members. I also like the mental challenge most of the time.
Schneider gives credit to several people for his continued participation in music and the municipal band.
?? I told Jim Schroeder that he made me the saxophonist (baritone) that I am because he was the last one I took lessons from, who was in ninth grade, ?? Schneider said of his fellow band member.
?? Cliff McMurray has been a major influence for me. We didn’t play much in the Municipal Band together, but he invited me to play in his Teikyo / Westmar Super Band which was a lot of fun, performed with some famous musicians, both locally and internationally, and could play Big Band / Jazz.
?? Lynn Gross has been a mentor during my Super Band years and encouraged and advised me to buy my Bari saxophone in 1988. This is a professional grade Yamaha and has served me well for the past 33 years and with my son in high school and college. . For most of the past 25 years, I’ve sat next to David Moore in training. I appreciated his encouragement and more so, we appreciated each other’s friendship and humor. Schneider said.
?? I would also like to mention the family relationships that I had in the group. I have played with four generations of the Lake family going back to Merle Lake who played tenor saxophone next to me when I started, ?? He continued. ?? I also played with three generations of the Bogenrief family. And not to mention that I’m currently playing with my daughter Jo Ellen Harvey. My son Andrew performed alongside me in the band during his high school years. His wife, Carol, faithfully listens to the audience.
Schneider explained during board meetings, Bertrand leads a discussion about the music the band plays for the year and possible soloists to play.
?? Jerry pretty much chooses the music, ?? he said. We practice on Tuesday evenings for an hour and a half or more before the Wednesday concert. Last year he was in the LCHS music room. In previous years, it was in the college music room. ??
He added: “I think the council really values my relationship with the city, the mayor and the administrator. I made all the budget requests, provided the list of matching funds, requested repairs to the carousel, and helped organize space for music and equipment storage at a facility in town.
The Big Band is Schneider’s favorite style of music, but we only perform it about once a year in the Municipal Band.
?? Besides being the music of my younger parents, Joe Brice instilled a love for this music in high school with the Notables. One of our notable gigs was about showcasing Big Band stars and their history, which really stood out to me. Second, it would be the marches and arrangements which are musical selections. ??
Since COVID, Schneider has said he has not performed in any other band except as an occasional vocal coach at Rotary Club meetings.
However, he participated in other musical activities, always keeping his skills sharp.
?? I have never missed a meeting of Notables which is a great joy to play. I played in the Northwestern College Jazz Band about three years ago as a backup for two gigs, ?? he said. ?? In the early 2000s, I played in the Merle Lake Orchestra a few times, which I really liked. However, his concerts were often on Sunday evenings. A lot of times we didn’t get home until 2 a.m. and I had to load the pigs at 5 a.m. on Monday and couldn’t live with that lack of sleep. He continued.
In the 90s he played in the Teikyo / Westmar Super Band for about 10 years and also in their concert orchestra for about three years.
?? I certainly appreciate and thank the group board for the recognition and thank them very much for that, ?? he concluded.