'Spice of life': Dickinson City Band dazzles at Winter Concert

From classical beats to holiday favorites, the Dickinson City Band took the stage with much excitement after two years of no performances.

The clarinet section of the Dickinson City Band lead the harmony in one of the musical selections from the Winter Concert Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, at the Dickinson High School Auditorium. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

The crescendos of percussionists melded beautifully with the intricate melodic tones of wind instruments, much to the hushed amusement of the audience. Enthralling performances courtesy of the Dickinson City Band (DCB) featured many a classic holiday hits center stage last weekend — a first in two years.

The DCB held its Winter Concert Sunday, in the Dickinson High School Auditorium, with prominent guests including Sen. Rich Wardner. Directed by Matthew Goettle — DHS band director — the band performed a number of popular pieces including “Toccata for Band,” “Oliver, “The Purple Pageant,” “The Minstrel Boy,” “Folk Song Suite” as well as pieces from the 1990 American epic western film “Dances with Wolves.” To put the audience in festive spirit, the DCB also played “Home for the Holidays” and “A Christmas Festival.”

For Goettle, this performance was one for the books.


“I thought the band played great,” Goettle said. “There were some challenging pieces, especially ‘The Purple Pageant’ and ‘Folk Song Suite,’ and they played them with style and class.”

A horn player of the Dickinson City Band during the Winter Concert Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson City Band perform a holiday number Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, at the Dickinson High School Auditorium for its Winter Concert. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

The band began rehearsals for the Winter Concert in September and have long awaited to take the stage after the coronavirus pandemic halted performances in 2020 across the world.

“I think it means that the city of Dickinson is hungry for music. The 'break' didn't dissolve the band, it only made them want this more,” Goettle noted.


Secretary Treasurer Bob Keogh of the Dickinson City Band says a few words during the Winter Concert by the musical nonprofit organization Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, at the Dickinson High School Auditorium. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

Toward the middle of the concert, DCB Secretary Treasurer Bob Keogh provided some comedic relief to attendees and also some facts about the band such as its nonprofit status and how Goettle dedicates his free time in service to this musical organization.

“It’s just wonderful. You don’t keep it to yourself… Here you’re playing on stage for people who come out on kind of a crappy night to listen. It makes us feel good,” Keogh said.

Matthew Goettle, director of the Dickinson City Band, introduces a holiday piece during the Winter Concert Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in the Dickinson High School Auditorium. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)


Goettle added, “I want us to keep getting better and better. The band members love a wide variety of music, from classic band repertoire to orchestral transcriptions to movies and musicals... and that's what we will keep doing. Variety is the spice of life. I have a feeling that this band will grow in numbers in the next couple of years, and I'm excited for them.”

Since his move in 2019, Geottle said that the Dickinson community has been so gracious and welcoming to him and his family.

“There is a rich history of music here and I'm happy to be a part of it,” he added.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
What To Read Next
The Minneapolis show is the 20th stop of the 41-show tour of her "Renaissance World Tour," bringing a live taste of her latest album to 40 cities in North America and Europe.
The actor, known for portraying Shirley Feeney on the "Happy Days" spinoff died Jan. 25 after a brief illness, her family said.
Crosby, one of the most influential rock singers of the 1960s and '70s but whose voracious drug habit landed him in prison, has died