Dave Cress directs the Rolla Town Band, He never knows what to expect, other than he knows he will have some passionate musicians.
Following a tradition of over 20 years, local musicians are invited to join the Rolla Town Band this summer. The band, which is traditionally led by a performing arts faculty member from Missouri S&T, will be under the continued direction of Dave Cress.
The university provides resources in the form of rehearsal space and equipment each year, and the rest of the town provides the passion and talent to create a valuable experience not only for the musicians, but for the entire town.
The band was originally entirely a community ensemble that fell into dormancy, according to Cress. The band was reconstituted by Don Miller, another S&T faculty member, and brought onto the campus over 20 years ago.
Dave Cress holds a bachelor’s degree in music as well as a master’s in education. He served more than 20 years as an army musician as well, serving in a number of musical positions and instrumental postings during his time.
“When I retired 11 years ago, the question was what am I going to do now?” said Cress. The answer came as he joined the faculty at the university, transitioning from part-time to full.
Cress said his passion for directing the town band comes from the seeing the enthusiasm from local residents and watching the band come together each summer.
“There are some community members that are very passionate about music,” he said. “Until you have that first rehearsal, you don’t know who you’re going to have.”
This comes with a bit of a challenge, as Cress has to begin creating the program before knowing how many musicians will end up joining the band, but that in itself is part of the fun.
“The enjoyment is not knowing who you’re going to have at the beginning of the summer and seeing everything you’ve accomplished at the end of the…