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Brass in Blue

With a hometown airman-musician in the spotlight and a nearly packed house of more than 500 concert-goers, "Brass in Blue" performed in Perham to four standing ovations Oct. 6.

With a hometown airman-musician in the spotlight and a nearly packed house of more than 500 concert-goers, "Brass in Blue" performed in Perham to four standing ovations Oct. 6.

The United States Air Force band's varied program ranged from patriotic to classic to motion picture themes to a rousing march written just for tubas.

Staff Sergeant Ben Kadow, a 1996 graduate of Perham High School, displayed his trombone virtuosity on "Blue Bells of Scotland," as his former Perham band directors listened proudly in the audience.

"Well, he missed a couple of notes," laughed his middle school band director; a fellow who also happens to be his father--Russ Kadow. Ben Kadow concluded his solo to one of several standing ovations for the evening.

Captain Michael J. Willen, commander-director of Brass in Blue, also heard a couple botched notes. "Say Russ," said Willen from the stage, "Ben missed a few things there--could you get together and work with him a little after the concert?"

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They were joking, of course. As far as the audience was concerned, Ben Kadow's performance was completely flawless--and they responded with one of the several rousing standing ovations.

Also featured was a unique xylophone solo by a Minneapolis native, percussionist SrA. David A. Pojar; and a second trombone solo by Captain Willen himself. Vocalist TSgt. Kenneth G. Maxwell, an operatic tenor, sang the National Anthem, a German-composed classic, and lead the entire band in singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

To conclude the concert, Maxwell lead the audience--about half of whom were veterans--in singing the Marine, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard songs.

Captain Willen reminded the audience that the warm applause for the band was also an applause--from a distance--for all those men and women of the armed forces serving across the globe.

The concert was sponsored by the ITOW Veterans Museum, the Perham Enterprise Bulletin and New York Mills Herald newspapers, and the Perham Lions Club.

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