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Longtime Casper Municipal Band director to lead July 4–themed show on Thursday

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Casper Municipal Band’s beloved longtime director Roger Fenner will return to direct the Independence Day performance on Thursday, June 30 at Washington Park.

According to Casper 1 TV, Fenner, who led the band for more than 30 years, will be a guest on performances this week and on the final concert of the season.

Kelly Walsh High School band instructor Brent Rose took over the Municipal Band’s duties starting this season.

“I’m only 44, so since I was 10 years old Roger has been leading that band,” said Brent Rose in an earlier interview with Oil City News. “For it to open up, it’s pretty rare and pretty special. So yeah, I was excited.”

Rose has been leading the Kelly Walsh High School band for eight years now, and previously led the band in Buffalo. He has more than 21 years’ experience in music education, he said.

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

The band has some 70 people on the roster, Rose said, and usually 60 to 65 perform on any given night. 

“It’s an audition-only group,” he said. “Because of that, we are really proud to say that we’ve got the top-tier band of musicians of any band in the state.” 

The band, which is mainly brass, woodwinds and percussion, keeps music selections “light” with accessible pieces from Broadway, pop, marching bands and Americana.

The season will consist of eight performances held on Thursday nights starting at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of July 14, when the band will play during the Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo Parade. 

Preparing for his first season was made all the more complicated with his overlapping duties at Kelly Walsh. Now that the school year has ended, he’s ready to head into the summer music season and join a decades-old Casper tradition. 

“It’s a well-oiled machine that I only hope to maintain,” he said. “That’s my goal: not to mess it up.”

Thursday’s July 4 celebration performance will be held at the Washington Park bandshell and starts at 7:30 p.m. All performances are free to the public.