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The Lodi Community Band, along with other local bands, practices Tuesday night at Delta College for their trip to in New York City next week.

Whitney Ramirez/News-Sentinel)

Lodi Community Band prepped for N.Y. gig at renowned Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Members of the Lodi Community Band will travel to New York City for a rare opportunity to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall next week.

Dubbed the “,” the band is a 110-piece symphonic ensemble comprised of four groups from Lodi and Stockton. It was chosen to perform on the Ron Perelman Stage in the Isaac Stern Auditorium as one of 10 performances being held at the New York Wind Band Festival.

Led by San Joaquin Delta College’s band director Arthur Holton, Delta Winds includes members of the Lodi Community Band, , Delta College Band, Brentwood Band and students from Lodi and Stockton high schools.

The 110 musicians will give a one-hour performance Wednesday night in New York City, and Holton said he plans to take advantage of every second. They will perform 10 pieces of music, starting with the world premier of “Fan Fair” that has been specially composed by local composer Max Simoncic.

Holton will lead the group in the main act, “Four Scottish Dances.”

“It’s one of my favorite pieces and you only get to play (Carnegie) once,” Holton said.

For Lodi lawyer and flutist Janie Hickok Siess, playing at Carnegie Hall is the equivalent to taking a case all the way to the Supreme Court.

“Carnegie Hall is the Holy Grail of music. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for most” she said. “It’s an honor just to step foot on stage.”

Like her fellow band members, Hickok Siess said she has plans for the rest of her week in New York. When they are not making stops at Ground Zero, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Hickok Siess will make it a girl’s trip and see Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” and “Mary Poppins” with her former college roommate.

The cost of the trip for most musicians is about $1,800, Holton said. Each band member did their own fund-raising and have succeeded without help from the college.

The group will leave Sunday and return the following Thursday.

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