Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES--The Eastern New Mexico University Alumni Band will meet from June 19-21 and present a free concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Union Ballroom in Portales.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the ENMU Alumni Band. The ensemble was founded to allow alumni the opportunity to make music together following graduation, enhance their friendships with one another, preserve their bond to the institution, and recognize the significant impact of their mentor and director, Floren Thompson Jr., Director of Bands Emeritus.
The reunions actually began as a concert and retirement roast for Floren Thompson Jr., who served as ENMU Director of Bands for over 30 years, according to Van Ragsdale, president of the ENMU Alumni Band.
“We had so much fun seeing old friends and making new ones, that we decided to continue meeting every two years. Even after Mr. Thompson's death in 2002, we've continued the reunions. ENMU is fortunate to now have the talents of Director of Bands Dustin Seifert, who is continuing the strong band tradition that Mr. Thompson developed,” said Ragsdale.
“We also try, as alumni, to support the band department and ENMU financially through scholarships and the music department renovation project. Our goal is to raise enough money through the Alumni Band to have the new Band Hall named after Mr. Thompson. I would ask anyone wishing to help with this goal to please contact me, Jane Henry, Dustin Seifert or Noelle Bartl at ENMU.”
The ENMU Band Alumni Reunion has been held every two years since 1988, according to Jane Henry, secretary of the Alumni Band Board of Directors.
"It’s a lot of fun to rehearse under the capable direction of Dustin Seifert for two days and present a concert. We have former ENMU band students coming from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and New Mexico. For some of us it will be the last chance to see the Music Building before it is remodeled with the addition of a new band hall. In looking in the archives we found the Music Building opened in 1957 at a cost of $500,000.00--over budget, of course, from $379,000," she said.
For more information, contact Dustin Seifert at 575.562.2377.