A volunteer organization playing concert band music for recreation and community service in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Small Town Tradition

The lighting of the town square is a living “Norman Rockwell Painting.” What is known as “black Friday” in the U.S. retail business world is the time for the annual observance, and downtown Jackson, WY, provides the setting. Friday night the day after Thanksgiving is the party — when the lights in the trees in the town square are turned on for the holiday season.

JHCB 2011

In the mid ’80s our brass quintet teamed up with the Jackson Hole Chorale to provide music for this festive event. We played Christmas carols and secular songs of Christmas, and the chorale led the singing. Kids and adults alike joined in singing and enjoyed the merriment in expectation for the lights to be turned on, followed by the arrival of Santa. After the advent of the Jackson Hole Community Band in 1989, additional brass members joined the quintet, and eventually, the woodwind players decided that they would like to join, too, despite the possibility of frozen and cracked reeds — and frozen fingers that must be exposed in order to cover the open holes on clarinets and some flutes.

“The show must go on!” Weather has always been a factor, but it has never stopped the event. We have played with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. That sounds pleasant, but if precipitation occurs, that means the players get wet instead of just being “dusted” with snowflakes. We’ve taken shelter to the best of our abilities under the large spruce trees, but eventually the drips find their way to the players.

Frozen Slide

With temperatures in the twenties, the setting is ideal. It’s cool enough for the snow to stay snow — on the ground or falling — but it’s not brutally cold for the instruments or the players. Fortunately, our memories of severely cold temperatures are few. One night in the early ’90s we started with the sign on the Jackson State Bank showing +2. It’s very difficult for the players to keep the instruments warm enough to function properly at that temperature. When we finished the ceremony a half-hour later, it showed -1, and we had several brass instruments with valves that were frozen in place, a couple of frozen trombone slides, and 3 icicles hanging from the bell of one of our trumpets.

Whatever the situation has been, we’ve looked forward to the cup of hot chocolate afterward, and we’ve always been warmed by the sense of community spirit. For those who have never attended, try to arrange your holiday schedule so you can make the next lighting of the Jackson town square — Friday night the day after Thanksgiving.

  Photo Album: Tree Lighting Ceremony

3rd Annual Halloween Concert

Date: Saturday, October 27th
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: Walk Festival Hall, Teton Village (map below)

Welcome our New Conductor

Jennifer Levanduski co-conducted the Jackson Hole Community band in 2006. Unfortunately for the band her husband’s job pulled him (and her) away from Jackson Hole for 3 1/2 years. She apparently hadn’t had enough of us, because she was willing to take over the reins of the band when a vacancy in the conductor’s position occurred in the summer of 2012.

Jennifer and her son Blake
Jennifer and her son Blake

Jennifer’s experiences in music qualify her highly for this position. She has a Bachelor of Music Degree with a Teacher’s Certificate from Sam Houston State University, where she played in bands throughout her university career. She has taught for a total of 15 years at a variety of grade levels in the Houston and Dallas areas. Jennifer also teaches flute, oboe and clarinet at the junior high and high school in conjunction with the Grand Teton Music Festival’s Tune Up program. Additionally, she played in the Houston Symphonic Band for 7 years, which is a high testament to her musicianship. Her bright eyes and broad smile welcome all players to our group each week, and her enthusiasm is mirrored by the players in the band.

This, our 3rd Halloween concert, is her 3rd concert as our leader since she assumed the role of conductor in late August. We are so lucky to have her conducting our band. She has selected a creative set of music fitting for Halloween, including feet stomping, finger snapping, moans and groans, and other interesting instruments. Anyone ever heard of a sound tube?

It is an exciting moment for audience and band members alike to witness the band dressed up in costume. In Halloween Concerts past we have witnessed Valkyries in the flute section, devils in the clarinets, and other engaging costumes. Can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.

Kid and kids at heart should show off their creative talents and come in costume as well. And be prepared, all goblins and ghouls will be welcomed on stage for the annual costume parade. Get those cameras ready! Trick-or-Treat maps will be available after the concert for the kids interested in retrieving candy from generous local businesses.

In partnership with the Grand Teton Music Festival, the concert will be on Saturday, October 27 at 4:00PM at Walk Festival Hall. The concert is FREE and open to the public. Please join us for this fun Halloween event!


Halloweens Past

Click for photos from Halloween Concerts

Poster PDF

Click for Concert Poster(flyer) PDF

Map to Event

Walk Festival Hall

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Walk Festival Hall 43.588237, -110.828178 www.gtmf.org/walk-festival-hall/