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Bittersweet Symphony

Band Together, a local orchestra that performs for free, does much more than represent the gay and lesbian musical community

Reynolds sums up the general sentiment of Band Together: "We just want you to come hear us. If you decide to support us, that's your decision."

Band Together directors Jeff Girard and Gary Reynolds
Jennifer Silverberg
Band Together directors Jeff Girard and Gary Reynolds

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Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30; the event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Missouri History Museum Auditorium in Forest Park

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This shared belief in bringing free music to the people underscores Band Together's importance not just to St. Louis' gay and lesbian community but to the music community as a whole. Band Together consists of people with jobs and families and myriad other responsibilities who still make time to make music -- simply because they love it. As schools continue to cut music programs from their curricula because they're considered nonessential, fewer people will be capable of forming community bands. It's sad to think we're fostering a nation of children who will never be able to navigate the celestial majesty of Holst, summon the divine passion of Bach or revel in the matinée menace of Williams' "Imperial March." Anyone who witnesses a stageful of people surpassing themselves to unite 300 strangers in the bombastic patriotism of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" can never believe that music is nonessential. Band Together is proof that music can be a lifelong passion, one that's as rewarding for the listener as it is for the performer.

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