When the Highlands Ranch Music Arts Festival was initiated in 2006, the idea was to show off some of the area’s community bands and let people know they still existed.
With average annual draws approaching 2,000 music-lovers, the Highlands Ranch Concert Band — the group behind it all — can consider its mission accomplished.
“For a small community band, that’s pretty good,” said Kelly Messall, who is in her fourth year as president of the band, a nonprofit organization that depends on festival proceeds to help purchase music and pay for top-notch conductors.
The two-day festival marks its eighth year at Civic Green Park. Organizers have a slew of jazz, swing, folk and new age musicians lined up for May 18, and a steady diet of concert, wind and symphonic bands ready to take the stage May 19.
“We have some new groups joining us, including a couple new jazz bands on Saturday that have never played with us before,” said Messall, who in addition to her role as president has played clarinet in the band for 10 years.
Saturday acts perform from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and include the Rootin’ Tootin’ Dixieland Band, Mile High Wind Machine, Blue 88’s, Bob’s Big Band, ThunderRidge High School Jazz Band, William and the Romantics, Sampson’s Gulch Jazz Band and the HRCB’s own Swing Shift closing out the night.
Sunday acts take the stage from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and feature the Colorado VFW Band, Over the Hill Band, John Philip Sousa Band of Colorado, Denver Concert Band, Thornton Community Band, Golden Eagle Concert Band and the HRCB.
Between 50 and 60 vendors are expected to offer a variety of refreshments, arts and crafts, including hands-on activities such as face-painting and a chance for festival-goers ages 3 and up to create their own fused-glass art.
The event is free and the band’s proceeds will be made from vendor sales from its own food booth as well as from space leased out to other vendors.
Civic Green Park is located at 9370 Ridgeline Boulevard in Highlands Ranch. For more information on the festival and performance times, visit www.hrmafestival.org.
Sponsoring this year’s festival is the Highlands Ranch Metro District, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, A Great American Print Shop, Glen W. Hagen P.C. and Colorado Community Media.
For information on future concerts or how to join the Highlands Ranch Concert Band, visit www.hrconcertband.org or contact Messall at 303-683-4102.
The Highlands Ranch Concert Band is made up of volunteer professional, amateur and high school musicians who provide entertainment throughout the year and promote an educational experience for musicians and the community through music, arts, entertainment and cultural opportunities.