The Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band
Meet Our Musicians--Band Member Bios
Name: Brenda Luksch
Instrument: Alto Saxophone
Music therapist Brenda Luksch has been playing alto sax since she was in fourth grade in Alexander, New York. “I was involved early in band, jazz band, all-county bands, and played at church more times than I can remember,” she recalled.
One of her favorite experiences was marching in the Bi-Centennial Parade in Concord, Massachusetts in 1977. She explained, “The country's bi-centennial was 1976, but the first battle at Lexington and Concord was in 1777, and there was a huge celebration and parade in 1977 that our band was invited to march in.”
Brenda continued to play saxophone in college at the State University of New York at Fredonia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy and Music Education. “In college, I played in several saxophone ensembles and bands. In addition to the music school ensembles, there was an all college band that you could join if you were not a music major, or if you were just learning a new instrument. One semester, I played with them as a percussionist!”
Later, she earned a master's degree in Education focusing on curriculum development using creative arts in education.
Brenda turned her love of music into a career. “For the last 30 years, I have been a music therapist, working with children and adults using music as a way to help them learn, grow and connect with others,” she said. She has worked with residents at Boulder Manor, Manor Care, Applewood Living Center and Frasier Meadows Retirement Center.
As a music educator, Brenda has taught band in several schools in the area, including St. Louis Catholic School in Louisville and Carbon Valley Charter School in Frederick. She has also taught music to many private students. Brenda directed the choir at Niwot United Methodist Church in Gunbarrel for many years in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s. She has pursued her passion for music at the college level as well, teaching music therapy and overseeing the practicum programs at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for many years.
Currently, in addition to her music therapy work with the frail elderly and people with dementia, she has a thriving work-from-home business, “Brenda's Usborne Books and More,” which allows her to work with schools, parents and kids to promote literacy and encourage the love of learning.
She and her husband, David, have lived in the Gunbarrel area for 30 years and raised their two children here. David serves as Catholic Deacon at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder. Both of their children are college students; Ben at CSU and Jessie at Metro State University.“I love playing in the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band as it keeps my ‘hand’ in the performance side of music without too much stress, but with a lot of fun,” she said. “I love ‘Hogan's Heroes.’ I remember playing that song in the high school marching band and in the ‘Fireman's Band’ (town band). My dad played clarinet in the town band until he was 82 years old. He was at band practice the day before he died and his band friends were the last to see him alive. I feel like I am carrying on the family band tradition with the Niwot Semi-Marching Band!”
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©The Rotary Club of Niwot and the Niwot Community Band, 2011