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NCSB Guest Conductor Concert May 3 at Liberty Theater

Submitted Press Release



The North Coast Symphonic Band will present its annual Guest Conductor concert at 2 P.M. on Sunday, May 3, at the historic Liberty Theater, 14th and Commercial, in downtown Astoria. Stephen Kuske will be the guest conductor. Guitarist David Drury will perform pre-concert entertainment starting at 1:30.

Stephen Kuske, a 1982 graduate of Astoria High School and former French horn player in the NCSB, is a veteran award-winning music teacher in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington, and much in demand as a music contest adjudicator and conference speaker. Kuske earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees at the University of Oregon and taught in Modesto, California, and in Eugene and Salem, Oregon, before becoming Director of Bands at Evergreen High School twelve years ago.

Under Kuske’s leadership, the Sprague Wind Ensemble (Salem, Oregon) placed in the top three at the OSAA State Band Championships three times. In Mr. Kuske’s last year in Salem, the Sprague Wind Ensemble was the Oregon State Band Champion and won the State Outstanding Sight-reading award. Mr. Kuske has also led successful marching bands. The Evergreen Marching Band has won over 250 awards and trophies during Mr. Kuske’s tenure, and is the six-time Northwest Marching Band Champion and has performed in Seattle, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. This past January, the Evergreen band was selected from 1400 applicants to march in the Barack Obama Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington, DC.

In the past, Mr. Kuske has been guest conductor of the University of Oregon Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, the Oregon State University Symphonic Band, the California State University Stanislaus Wind Ensemble, and the Salem Adult Concert Band. Over the past years, he has been invited to speak at the Oklahoma, Arizona, Oregon and Washington State Music Educators Association Conventions. Kuske has received three citations of teaching excellence from the Bethel, Salem/Keizer, and Evergreen School Districts.

Kuske’s program with the North Coast Symphonic Band will include marches, Broadway show tunes, and jazz standards as well as standard wind band repertoire. Featured selections are “Suite Francaise” by Darius Milhaud, “La Procession du Roccio” by Joaquin Turina, and “A Copland Tribute” arranged by Clare Grundman. Past guest conductors of the NCSB have included nationally known composers and top professors from music schools at regional universities and colleges. Kuske is the first high school teacher to be honored with an invitation to guest conduct the NCSB. When asked why he agreed to participate, Kuske replied, “Community bands are fun. They bring different challenges from high school bands. There’s a diversity of participants of all ages and from all professions and these musicians have all decided to keep music part of their life-long journey.”

Regular admission for the May 3 concert is $10. Student admission is $8. Children 12 and under are free when escorted by an adult. Tickets are available in advance at the Liberty Theater Box Office, (503) 325-5922 Ext. 55, open Tues – Sat: 2 – 5: 30 P.M. and two hours before the event. Ticket revenue does not cover expenses and the North Coast Symphonic Band performs at the Liberty Theater because of generous donations by members of its audience.

The North Coast Symphonic Band is in the midst of its twenty-ninth season and enjoys a partnership with the Clatsop College Arts and Ideas Program. Members range in age from sixteen to seventy-seven and attend regular Monday night rehearsals from as far away as Ocean Park, Rockaway Beach, and Puget Island. Currently there are openings in the band for clarinet players and percussionists. For more information about the band or the concert, e-mail or call 503-325-2431.


Man in tuxedo
Stephen Kuske in concert attire

Man conducting
Stephen Kuske conducting the NCSB in rehearsal

North Coast Symphonic Band at the Liberty

Submitted by:

Janet Bowler


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