Longtime Minot City Band Director Jerry Spitzer retires

MINOT, N.D. - A longtime figure in the Minot music community is hanging it up.

Jerry Spitzer, the director of Minot's City Band, is retiring after more than three decades at the helm.

A Parshall native, Spitzer has directed the group of musicians for the past 33 seasons and joined the band back in 1976.

“I've always been interested in conducting. I was guest conductor of the concert choir at Minot State, and I was a guest conductor of the band, so that's always been a favorite thing of mine to do, is direct,” Spitzer said.

This Minot maestro has spent most of his life around music. He received his degree in the very subject from Minot State and later taught the craft to the younger generation.

He said he knows what strikes the right chord.

“The clarinets have one sound. The brass has a completely different sound, but when you mix them in the right proportions, it's a great sound,” Spitzer said.

Spitzer said he figures he's directed just under 400 shows, and he's proud of the talent this group has showcased to the Minot community.

“It's amazing. We have some awesome musicians in that group. And sight readers, they're fantastic sight readers,” he said.

“Thirty-three years is a long time to be in one position, and I think it's time to get somebody younger in there," Spitzer said when asked why he's hanging it up.

Spitzer said he'll remain as the official librarian of the group, and even though he'll no longer be in front of the podium, the band will continue to bring the gift of music to the ears of the Magic City.

Spitzer may be done directing the Minot City Band, but he will be with them Saturday, July 23 as they perform in the North Dakota State Fair Parade.

He says they'll be near the front of the pack.

KMOT will also be a part of the parade, handing out candy and greeting residents along the route.