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Still ‘Ogden’s Concert Band’ after more than a half-century of music

By Ryan Aston - | Mar 19, 2024

Ryan Aston, Standard-Examiner

The Ogden Concert Band, under the direction of Shannon Roberts, rehearses Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

OGDEN — There’s a veritable institution in the Weber County music scene that you may or may not even know about. The Ogden Concert Band has been sharing its music locally — and around the globe — for more than 50 years, and it will resume doing so this spring.

At 7 p.m. May 15, the band will be kicking off its 2024 season with a performance at Ogden High School. The program will feature “Arabesque” by Samuel R. Hazo, Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F for Military Band,” “A Symphonic Prelude” by Alfred Reed and more.

As is the case with virtually all of the band’s events, admission is free. Families are encouraged to attend.

The Ogden Concert Band once again finds itself under the direction of Shannon Roberts, who’s returning after having previously served as director from 2015-19. It’s a development that has reinvigorated the band’s already dedicated membership.

“It’s a gift that we just are so grateful for, and it’s just one more step in the ongoing history of this amazing band,” clarinetist Kent Jensen told the Standard-Examiner of Roberts’ second go-round.

Roberts — a composer, multi-instrumentalist, author, current director of music at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and former director of bands at Weber State University — says the band endeavors to expose concertgoers to a variety of musical genres.

“We will pick literature that represents diversity in styles,” Roberts told the Standard-Examiner. “That’s what I’m bringing to the group.”

Despite his decadeslong history as a professional musician and music educator, Roberts continues to be a student of the art form. The curiosity that he had as a 4-year-old taking his first steps into music continues to drive his work today.

“It has been a lifetime of just constant learning. And even at my age now, I’m still learning new things all the time,” he said. “My father had a saying. He said, ‘The older I get, the more I know I don’t know.’ … For every piece of knowledge I get, it’s like there’s almost an infinite number of questions.”

Fostering that same curiosity among the Ogden-area youth is part of the band’s mission at large.

“If we can provide that exposure to a live band to kids and get a passion going for them for music, I think that’s a win for us. That’s a big deal,” Boyd Hunter —  who plays the trombone and manages the band’s finances — told the Standard-Examiner. “There’s so much positive impact that learning an instrument has on a kid that affects their whole life. And so, for me, we’re successful if people are coming and listening and saying, ‘I want to do that.'”

In 1994, the band was declared by then-Mayor Glenn Mecham to be “Ogden’s Concert Band.” And while performances have been held in places as far away as Taiwan and Germany, Hunter says that making an impact locally is the band’s priority.

“Things like that can be a really good experience,” he said. “But the mission of the band is to support the Ogden-Weber area.”

Notable past performances include the dedication of the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home plus rededications for Peery’s Egyptian Theater and the World War I memorial at Ogden Cemetery.


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