Mike Bucy, Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School’s band teacher, conducts an ensemble of Taku Winds and DHMS band students during a rehearsal for a concert Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of Juneau Community Bands)

Mike Bucy, Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School’s band teacher, conducts an ensemble of Taku Winds and DHMS band students during a rehearsal for a concert Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of Juneau Community Bands)

Sundown showdown of the mild and Wild West featured in concert Saturday at TMHS

Performance by Taku Winds and local students promises brawls, cattle drives and classical concerto.

It’s not quite the cannons of the “1812 Overture,” but Taku Winds is promising an evening of concert hall brawls, cattle drives and the capturing of its outlaw conductor — with the help of some impressionable youths — by sundown Saturday night.

The spring concert by the 35-member wind and brass ensemble at 7 p.m. at the Thunder Mountain High School Auditorium is titled “Wild West and the Gentle Flute,” which is a self-explanatory giveaway to a show with two entirely different themes. The gentle part refers to flute player Inga White as the featured soloist on Carl Reinecke’s “Concerto in D Major for flute and wind band,” while the wild part refers to a collection of mostly Western movie tunes.

“We wanted a soloist and so Inga was sort of our first choice — she’s a fantastic flute player,” said Sarah McNair-Grove, president of Juneau Community Bands, which is hosting the concert. “Then (conductor William Todd Hunt) decided he really wanted to play Billy the Kid. And that’s kind of what started the whole thing.”

A promotional listing for the concert entices people to watch the “Taku Winds cowhands as they dance, sing, search for gold, drive cows to market, participate in brawls and capture Billy the Kid.” While that sounds more like a stage play than a concert, McNair-Grove said the “action” will be conveyed strictly in musical terms (along with some outfits).

“The music itself is very dramatic,” she said. “You’ll hear like gunshots — da-da-da-da — from the band and then more of a musical atmosphere that captures Billy the Kid. And then some Western costumes, Western shirts and cowboy hats, and that kind of thing.”

Taku Winds typically performs twice a year and while the group often features themes — including past ones such as Mexican, Halloween and Oktoberfest — this is the first cowboy concert, McNair-Grove said.

“The opening piece is ‘The Cowboys’ by John Williams from the John Wayne movie ‘The Cowboys,’” she said. “And that’s really dramatic. It’s got some great French horn openings in it, so that will be a very exciting opening. And then we have the concerto. And then in the second half we’re starting with the best of the West so it’s some little pieces of various movies: ‘Blazing Saddles,’ ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ ’‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.’”

The latter song will include about a dozen band students from Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School will join the Taku Winds musicians for some of the latter songs, which will be conducted by Mike Bucy, the school’s band teacher, McNair-Grove said.

“And then (Bucy) is going to be conducting a piece (‘Train Heading West’) that they just played at their concert,” she said. “And so they’re joining us for our piece and we’re joining them on one of their pieces.”

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

Know and Go

What: “Wild West and the Gentle Flute” concert by Taku Winds and students from Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Thunder Mountain High School auditorium.

Tickets: $22 adults, $18 seniors, $5 students, $40 families. Available online at https://jahc.na.ticketsearch.com/sales/salesevent/16723.

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