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College of Liberal Arts - Louisiana Tech University

of Music

Russ-Town Band

The Russ-Town Band is directed by Louisiana Tech University Associate Professor of Music Lawrence Gibbs. Musicians interested in joining the band or those interested in sponsoring a performance should contact Mr. Gibbs at (318) 257-5472 or by email at hlgibbs@latech.edu.

Brief History

The Russ-Town Band was formed by Lawrence Gibbs, Jan Gibbs, Charles Gaushell, and Anne Gaushell in June, 1994. There became a need for summer entertainment in the area, and the “community band” concept was making an impressive comeback nation-wide. Ruston was developing many plans for entertainment in the area. The time was right.

The founders asked retired local bandmaster Mr. Oscar Barnes, former Associate Director of Bands at LSU and former Director of Bands at Ruston High School, to conduct the band. Lawrence Gibbs was named as Assistant Conductor and Manager of the Band. The band was asked to perform for the Ruston Peach Festival and the “Christmas at the Dixie” Concert. The band also began performing at the Ruston High School Auditorium for their annual “The August Concert."

The band has been involved in many projects over the years. Mr. Barnes worked closely with the developers of the Ruston Railroad Park in downtown Ruston to assure proper conditions for band concerts. In 2005, the Dixie Center for the Arts was completely restored, and it has become the location for both the Ruston Peach Festival Concert and the Russ-Town Christmas Concert.

In 2001 Mr. Barnes turned over the baton to Lawrence Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs is currently the Director and Manager of the Russ-Town Band.

The goal of the band has always been to improve the local cultural atmosphere of Ruston, LA. The band is totally volunteer and no admission is charged at events. The band regularly presents “fundraising” concerts to assist area charity organizations. The band hopes to continue for many more years as a testament to the love of high quality band music in North Central Louisiana.