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Mountain to climb for the Gunners

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first_imgElsewhere, last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid will have to overturn a 1-0 deficit when they host German side Bayer Leverkusen in their second leg. Arsenal have given themselves a lot of work to do if they’re to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.They trail 3-1 after the first leg of their last-16 tie at home to Monaco last night.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got an injury-time goal to give Arsene Wenger’s side some hope.last_img read more

Meredith Willson honored on what would have been his 118th birthday

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first_imgMASON CITY — 118 years ago today, Meredith Willson was born in Mason City. The flutist, composer, conductor, musical arranger, band leader, playwright and author is best known for the Broadway musical “The Music Man”. This morning, a short program paying tribute to Willson was held at the Willson family renovated gravesite at Elmwood Cemetery in Mason City with two drum majors from the Mason City High School band placing flowers at Willson’s grave. North Iowa Band Festival coordinator Kativa Weitzel says Willson contributed so much to Mason City’s musical heritage.   “Everybody knew that Meredith Willson was born in Mason City and then he came back to get buried here, even though he didn’t live here his whole life and to be buried with his family here in Mason City, we just figured to pay tribute to who he was, what he’s done for our community is such a big deal.”The only thing missing from today’s annual ceremony were the Band Festival honorees and the Mason City High School band queen and king. Weitzel says the Mason City High School drum majors were happy to be a part of this year’s ceremony.  “We asked the drum majors to come, they were ecstatic, over the moon, that they were able to help pay tribute to somebody who contributed so much to our community and really is the cultural heritage of who we are.” Drum majors Bailey Gunderson and Shaye Theobald say it was an honor to be able to participate in today’s ceremony.   Gunderson says, “It was really an honor to be asked to do this today. We didn’t know this was going to happen, and we didn’t expect it either. We were really proud to do it, and that’s what we stand for as the drum majors of Mason City.” Theobald says, “Usually the royalty does it. I think this is a great opportunity for us. This experience was amazing.” Gunderson says the band this year got to experience one of Willson’s other musicals, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”.  “At first we weren’t quite sure about it, but it was different and I kind of liked it. It was different for the band, and I knew that they weren’t quite going to be sure about it. They ended really liking it and it became one of my favorite songs.” Theobald says the band was disappointed that they weren’t able to take their trip this spring to the Twin Cities to see a production of “The Music Man”.  “This year we were going to go to Minneapolis and go to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater and watch The Music Man. Unfortunately we didn’t get to do that. Doing this is awesome as well, honoring Meredith Willson on his birthday.” Willson when he was born weighed over 14 pounds, which was the largest baby born in Iowa at the time. He died in June of 1984 in Santa Monica California.last_img read more