Swing, jazz sounds to fill Broomfield Auditorium on Saturday

The Broomfield Auditorium will be filled with some familiar sounds on Saturday.

The Mile High Freedom Band will present "Celebrations and Meditations," a concert featuring swing band and concert band arrangements on diverse themes reflecting on American life, at 7:30 p.m.

The concert also will feature works from composers Aaron Copland, Francis McBeth, Alfred Reed and Howard Hanson and Frank Ticheli`s "American Elegy," in honor of the victims of the events at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.

"People will definitely recognize the songs, even if they don`t know them by name. They`ll have heard them in movies or other things associated with the time period," said Rice Majors, artistic director and conductor for the band.

The first half of the concert will be a performance from the full Mile High Freedom Band, and the second half will be an unveiling of the new 15-piece swing band, Freedom Swing, which will feature works by American jazz composers.

The Mile High Freedom Band, an all-volunteer organization, hosts two formal concerts per year, one in the fall and one in the spring. In addition, the band performs outdoor concerts during the year, including last month for the St. Patrick`s Day parade in Denver, where the group is located.

The band is looking forward to its return to Broomfield.

"We had a great audience the last time we played the Broomfield Auditorium in the fall. We weren`t sure what kind of turnout we`d get, but we drew a great audience," Majors said.

The band is a nonprofit organization serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Since it was started in 1984 by Bob Brown, the concert band has grown to 55 members. The band collaborates with other musical organizations throughout the Denver metropolitan area and is a member of an international organization the Lesbian and Gay Bands Association. According to its Web site, mhfb.org, the band "provides educational, cultural and social enrichment for members and its audience and makes a positive contribution to the community."

Members come from many backgrounds and musical abilities.

"We welcome anyone into the band, regardless of musical ability, as long as they are supportive of our mission statement, which is to raise GLBT awareness," said Brandon Lujan, president and six-year-member of the Mile High Freedom Band, who plays the clarinet, tenor saxophone and French horn.

This will be the band`s second performance with Majors as artistic director. Majors previously participated in three other organizations of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, conducting the Rose City Gay Freedom Band in Portland, Ore., the San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, both in San Francisco.

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