PREVIEW: Mitchell man celebrates 55 years of directing municipal band

Local News

MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — An 81-year-old Mitchell man is retiring as director of the Mitchell Municipal Band after 55 years.

Joe Pekas directed his last concert with the Mitchell Municipal Band July 28. He moved to Mitchell in 1962 to be band director for the Mitchell School District. He was asked to be director of the municipal band in 1966.

“I was a Jaycee and the mayor was a Jaycee. One day at a Jaycee meeting, he says, ‘Harold is going to retire. Do you want to take over the city band?’ and I says, ‘Yes!’ So that’s what happened from there,” Pekas said.

Pekas has around 50 pieces of music published. He would like to continue to do that, and he also said he would be happy to guest conduct or play in the band in the future.

Later tonight, hear additional thoughts from Pekas and a friend with whom he has played music for nearly 50 years.

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