Regional Orchestra conductor Beatrice retires after May concert | Local News

John Grinvalds Editor of the Daily Sun

Kevin Boesiger will wave his baton for the last time as conductor of the Beatrice Regional Orchestra on Tuesday, May 17.

Boesiger, who had been a conductor since 2010, is stepping down. The orchestra’s “Name That Tune” concert will feature a variety of music and a reception honoring Boesiger.

Boesiger said May’s end-of-season gig was generally lighter.

“The May concert is more of a pop concert,” he said. “Expect to hear show tunes… There will be a huge variety of music.”

Boesiger said audience members can test their musical prowess by guessing what each song is.

“There will be clues for each track, and they will see how many notes they can name that track,” he said. “We were looking for ways to involve the audience more in the concert, and we thought this would be a fun way.”

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at the Center Hevelone on Tuesday evening. Tickets are $5 and free for students.

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Boesiger said his last time in management came with a mixture of sadness and joy.

“A lot of these players have been here the whole time I’ve been here,” he said. “I will really miss them.”

Living in Omaha, Boesiger said the hike every Tuesday night gets tiring over time, and his job as music director at an Omaha church keeps him more than busy.

Southeast Community College music teacher Jon Gruett will take Boesiger’s place next season.

“I think Jon will lead the orchestra very well,” Boesiger said. “…” I hope they can continue to grow and continue to bring people to come and see the concerts. It’s a challenge because Beatrice doesn’t have a college orchestra program like Lincoln and Omaha have… It’s a challenge to keep the string players and to keep the orchestra going.

Boesiger found the orchestra in its early days, with its 2009 debut, and guided it through a growth spurt.

“I think it got stronger,” he said. “It took us a long time to really establish that we really had an orchestra in the community. We even had the Omaha Symphony, and we were able to play alongside them… I think our audience has grown since the orchestra was created.

The orchestra’s concerts at the Hevelone Center have hosted up to 600 people in the past. Boesiger said he enjoys bringing in guest conductors and featuring different members of the community in orchestra performances.

Boesiger said he hopes to have left a mark on the members of the orchestra and on the community.

“I’m tired of choosing music that would challenge us and make us better musicians,” he said. “I just hope we’ve all grown and become better musicians over the years I’ve been with the band.”

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