Friday, October 5, 2018

Celebrating Our Heritage

James O'Dell
Music Director
By James O’Dell, Music Director

Saturday, October 20 at 8 PM
51 Walden, Concord MA

Ten years ago when I became aware that the Concord Band was searching for a new Music Director and Conductor, I eagerly prepared my letter of interest and professional materials for the application. After successfully advancing to the “short list” of four candidates I was invited to conduct a rehearsal.  I was honored to be offered the position, and began preparing the Concord Band for its 50th Anniversary concert in March, 2009—at which time I would succeed Dr. William McManus and his 14-year tenure as Music Director. During the interview process and rehearsal, I was struck by the commitment of the members to the Band and their love of lifelong music making. And I was just as impressed with the historically strong organization of the Concord Band Association Board and its substantial and ongoing support of this gem of a community ensemble.

Now, nine years since assuming the podium, we embark on a year-long season celebrating the 60th Anniversary milestone of the Concord Band and its distinguished and rich history.  Over the past nine years we have performed more than 126 concerts that presented 684 pieces of music and featured a variety of soloists from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, professional jazz musicians, the Concord Players, and our own Concord Band members.  One of the highlights of the past decade was our becoming the first community band in New England to receive the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll Award.

Our 60th Anniversary Season begins with a bang on October 20th, featuring works commissioned by the Concord Band, concert band masterpieces, chosen gems, new works and beloved transcriptions. Triumphant Entrance by composer Warren Barker, commissioned by the Band in 1991, is a symphonic march in the style of a fanfare/processional which bookend a lush and beautiful interlude. Concord by Clare Grundman was commissioned by “The President’s Own” Marine Band in 1987, and presents material from three folk tunes attributed to the American War of Independence—“The White Cockade,” “America,” and “Yankee Doodle.”  On A Hymnsong of Philip Bliss is based on a moving and solemn 1867 work by hymn writer Philip Paul Bliss, arranged by David R. Holsinger.  La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) Overture by Giuseppe Verdi was first performed by the Concord Band at the 25th Anniversary concert in 1984. The fall concert will feature a new transcription by R. Mark Rogers that more authentically captures this magnificent opera overture.

Contemporary composer Samuel Hazo’s new work Diamond Fanfare brings all symphonic forces to bear in this uniquely formatted and blossoming fanfare. Folk Dances by Dimitri Shostakovich ,superbly transcribed by H. Robert Reynolds, draws source material from the “Dance of Youth,” and includes several Russian folk melodies strung together one after the other as it accelerates to a big finish. It was first performed by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s feared secret police that became the KGB. [Source: Conductor and Music Educator Andy Pease]

North Bridge Portrait was commissioned by the Concord Band in 1999 and was described by composer Stephen Bulla as “a descriptive fantasia for band that seeks to portray an historical picture through music of this important locale, where the first shot of the American Revolution rang out in 1775”. First Suite in E-flat by English composer Gustav Holst is considered to be among the very first cornerstone masterworks for band, setting the stage for countless original compositions for concert band to this day. Proud Heritage by American William Latham is listed as one of the 100 most popular mid-20th century marches.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Help Us Commemorate a Major Milestone

Jean Patterson, Chairperson of the Concord Band 60th Anniversary Season Celebration Committee, began planning for the celebratory year in the spring of 2018. All Band members were asked how they wanted to mark the 60th season. Celebration Committee members Yvonne Wilson, June Grace, Liz Irvin and Dave Purinton reviewed the suggestions that were received and recommended a variety of celebration ideas.

The Committee worked with Dan Diamond to create a 60th Anniversary logo that will be used throughout the anniversary season. To celebrate the band’s early history of marching in Concord’s Patriots’ Day parade, a special concert is being arranged with the Town of Concord as part of Concord’s Patriot’s Day events. The Committee is also organizing a 60th Anniversary dinner for Band members.

Other Band committees have been planning for the special season as well. The Concord Band Board of Trustees has been supportive in guiding all planned activities. The Commissioning Committee (Liz Irvin, Charlie Learoyd, Dan Diamond, and James O’Dell) commissioned a new fanfare by Roger Cichy and a new major work by Andrew Boysen, Jr., both to be premiered at the Winter Concert on March 2, 2019. Music Director James O’Dell has also programmed many musical pieces with special relevance to the Concord Band’s long history. He has also invited honorary Concord Band member Amanda Carr and American Idol alumnus John Stevens to headline the Spring Pops concerts on April 12 and 13.

We are looking forward to the participation of Music Director Emeritus Dr. William G. McManus at the Winter Concert, which will also involve Band alumni.

The Concord Band has a long history to celebrate. We can’t fit it all into a single anniversary concert, so expect a full and exciting 60th Anniversary Season!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Concord Band Celebrates 60th Season

Photo courtesy Daisy Design

Commissions and special guest soloists will highlight the anniversary season

By Peter Norton, | Sep 16, 2018

The Concord Band, a community concert band based in Concord, Mass., is commemorating its 60th anniversary season from September 2018-July 2019. The Band was originally formed in 1959 as a marching band to participate in patriotic celebrations in the Town of Concord, Mass., but has been performing as a symphonic wind ensemble since 1970. The band typically plays about 15 concerts a year, mostly at the historic Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden in Concord and outdoor concerts at its summer home in Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts.

In honor of this special anniversary season, the band has commissioned a new fanfare by Emmy-award-winning composer Roger Cichy and a new major work by Andrew Boysen, Jr. both to be premiered at the Band's Winter Concert on March 2, 2019. These commissions will add to the Band's sponsorship of more than 80 new works and arrangements for symphonic concert band. Music Director James O'Dell has also programmed many musical pieces with special relevance to the Concord Band's long history for other concerts this season (especially the Fall Concert on October 20, 2018). Honorary Concord Band member and jazz vocalist Amanda Carr and American Idol alumnus John Stevens will headline the Spring Pops nightclub-style concerts on April 12–13. The Band is also working with the town of Concord to get involved with Patriots' Day celebrations for a special concert on April 15, 2019.

The Concord Band looks forward to celebrating its long history throughout the coming year. More details about the Concord Band's 60th anniversary season concerts will be posted on its website as they are available.

The band is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gladly accepts any donations to help fund the costs of the 60th anniversary season at The Concord Band is supported by the Cultural Councils in Concord, Bolton, and Harvard.

Be sure to save the date for our "Celebrating Our Heritage" Fall Concert on October 20, 8pm at 51 Walden. The concert is open to the public and funded by donations.

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