Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Pops Presents Dynamic Guest Artist Christine Fawson


The Concord Band is excited this year to be presenting an eclectic and crowd-pleasing program, which will feature the dynamic and infectious Berklee faculty member Christine Fawson as lead jazz vocalist and trumpeter.

Her pieces will include Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm", "But Not For Me", and "Embraceable You", as well as Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and a rousing version of "Massachusetts", made famous by the Gene Krupa Big Band. (We're expecting a lot of audience participation on that one!)

Also on the program: Gustav Holst's arrangement of Bach's "Fugue a la Gigue", composer Julie Giroux's remarkable "Boston Liberties" (commissioned by the Concord Band in 2008), a tribute to Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein's "Danzon", a little Dixieland and Sousa's "Stars and Stripes". In other words, a little something for every taste!

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12, which includes seating is at tables for 4 and light refreshments. Go to http://ticketstage.com/concordband, or send email to reservations@concordband.org, or call 978-897-9969.

Parking: A special note for those thinking of attending the Friday night performance: there's a big Hollywood film currently being shot in Concord across the street from 51 Walden. It stars Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. They'll be doing some shooting on Friday night, which shouldn't interfere with our program ... BUT ... parking around the venue will be severely limited. The recommendation is to come on the early side and be prepared to park a few blocks from the venue. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Concord Band Shows Their True Colors with “Shades of Blue”

Concord Band Winter Concert
March 4th, 2017, 51 Walden Street, Concord, MA

Reviewed by Vanessa Rene

The Concord Band has reinforced their place at the head of the pack when it comes to concert bands in the Greater Boston area with their most recent concert tour-de-force, “Shades of Blue”, a concert dedicated to the influence of the blues on American Music.

These fine musicians started off the evening with their rendition of An Ellington Portrait, a compilation of favorites by perennial favorite Duke Ellington, and their execution was flawless. Other crowd pleasers in this evening of entertainment were David Southard, playing the title theme in Sammy Nestico’s Persuasion and a fine small ensemble performing the jazz composition Rocker arranged by Gerry Mulligan in 1995.

Hymn to a Blue Hour by John Mackey, a prolific composer of concert band literature who lives in Cambridge, MA, is a stirring mood piece that focuses on the hour of day when the sun has set and the light is slipping away in the blue shades of evening. The quiet, meditative style is deceptive, for it sounds simple in its flowing passages – but indeed the suspensions and dissonances necessary to build tension and feeling are devilishly hard for musicians to sustain without total concentration. Kudos to Kathryn Denney on French Horn! John Mackey is a charming and engaging gentleman with a great deal of enthusiasm for his work. Bravo!

Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli is a technically exacting piece that draws on elements of the blues – chords, rhythm changes, suspensions – without being technically a blues piece. The band performed flawlessly through a very challenging exercise in control, and the solo by Dave Purinton on clarinet, or “Licorice Stick” as it is sometimes called, really spoke!

photo courtesy Doug Finkbeiner
David Southard
alto saxophone
Bright Colored Dances by Lewis Buckley is a work in four movements, crafted to depict the light, joyful flitting of a butterfly in “Butterfly Yellow”, the graceful smooth mid-range dance of “Clarinet Green”, the pompous slightly ridiculous nature of high officials in “Comic Royal Purple” and the fiery passion of “Tarantella Red”. The band shifted effortlessly between moods in this cleverly crafted collection, again displaying their many talents and capabilities.

Blue Sterling, by CBA Music Director Emeritus Bill McManus, is a wonderful piece, commissioned especially for the Concord Band as a tribute by the family of Jerry Kriedberg, alto saxophonist with the Concord Band for over 4 decades, and lover of jazz and blues. This piece is bluesy and cool, and was performed masterfully on solo alto saxophone by David Southard (his second solo performance of the evening). This piece was originally debuted in 2013, with the solo line being performed by the composer himself.

photo courtesy Doug Finkbeiner
Richard Given
cornet
Variations on “The Carnival of Venice” is a popular concert piece with an intricate solo performed by Richard Given, principal cornetist with the Concord Band. This piece is characterized by its ever-increasing technicality in the variations of the repeated theme, so well-known to so many. Upon the completion of the piece, Mr. Given gave the audience a brief tutorial in how simple the final iteration is (definitely not!). He then treated the crowd to an encore of this variation. The band did a commendable job of supporting his solo.

Vanessa Rene has been an oboist for most of her life and was a member of the Concord Band from 1989 to 2008. She lives in Lowell with her husband, Larry, and her dog, Bob. When she is not working, she plays the oboe with the Chelmsford Community Band and sings with the Carlisle Community Chorus.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter Concert 2017

Shades of Blue

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Steven Barbas, Assistant Conductor
Richard Given, Cornet Soloist
David A. Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
Program
James O’Dell, Conducting
An Ellington Portraitarr. Floyd E. Werle
Hymn to a Blue HourJohn Mackey
PersuasionSammy Nestico
David Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
Blue ShadesFrank Ticheli
Intermission
RockerGerry Mulligan
Bright-Colored DancesLewis J. Buckley
  1. Butterfly Yellow
  2. Clarinet Green
  3. Comic Royal Purple
  4. Tarantella Red
Blue Sterling: Theme for JerryWilliam G. McManus
David Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
Variations on "The Carnival of Venice"Jean Baptiste Arban
arr. Hunsberger
Richard Given, Cornet Soloist

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Concord Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


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