Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lifetime Service Award to Jeremy Welts

Jeremy Welts
In 2002, the Concord Band Board of Trustees introduced the Lifetime Service Award to honor individuals whose participation, over a significant span of time, has made a fundamental difference to the Concord Band. An Honor Roll has been created and is displayed prominently in the 51 Walden lobby to keep these individuals in our collective long-term memory. On October 28, 2006, the Concord Band Lifetime Service Award will be given in memory of Jeremy Welts.

His Award plaque will read as follows:
From 1963 until 2000, Jerry Welts was what music directors hope for: outstanding musician, mentor to younger players, selfless section leader and effective Board member. Bill Toland, Music Director during most of Jerry's time with the Band, recalls that Jerry's trombonists were rotated among parts to keep playing interesting for all of them, but always so that an appropriate player was assigned to each part. For a number of years, Jerry took responsibility for lugging and setting up the Band's very heavy sound system. He also arranged Trombumba/Bossa for trombone choir and band, performed in 1998. We are pleased to honor the memory of Jeremy Welts for his many contributions to the Concord Band.
Past Award recipients have been Bill Burdine and William Toland (2002), Carl Getz and Robert Turkington (2003), Gene Parish and William R. Phelan (2004) and Ed Richter and Bill Siebert (2005).

Past Award recipients have been Bill Burdine and William Toland (2002), CarlGetz and Robert Turkington (2003), GeneParish and William R. Phelan (2004), and EdRichter and Bill Siebert (2005).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Interview: Music Education and the Concord Band

Dr William G McManus
Music Director
Dr William G. McManus, Music Director of the Concord Band since 1995, has been Director of Fine and Applied Arts in a very successful Massachusetts public school system and is now Chair of the Music Education Department at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. His perspective, we thought, on how the Concord Band relates to music education would be of great interest to our readers.

CB: How would you assess the general health of public school music education in the Commonwealth? 
WGM: “Generally, music education programs are strong in the public schools in Massachusetts, especially in suburban school districts. Many communities can boast fine comprehensive music programs. The band, choral, orchestra, marching band, and jazz festivals sponsored by such organizations as the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) and the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) remain very strong. The District and All-State Festivals sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) are spectacular. On the flip side, there are too many communities cutting back or eliminating music programs. Music programs in the cities and in rural areas of the Commonwealth are especially limited.”

CB: It’s probably safe to say every member of the Concord Band began his or her career as an instrumentalist in elementary school. Do you feel that it is better to start off a young child on a band or orchestra instrument or on the piano? Why? 
WGM: “It really depends upon the age and interest level of the child at the time. A five- or six-year-old could begin taking piano lessons or lessons on a small size violin, much as many students do in Suzuki programs in Japan. This same child could not begin lessons on a band or orchestra instrument because s/he physically would not be able to play the instrument. Most nine-year-old children are physically ready to learn a band instrument.”

CB: In your career as a music educator you’ve had the opportunity to observe music teachers in action for the past few decades. Are they different in any important ways now from when you began your own career? 
WGM: “Music teachers tend to be more specialized than when I began my career. General music teachers often develop expertise in one of several different approaches to teaching music such as Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, or Gordon. Today there are many instrumental teachers who specialize in teaching jazz. Jazz ensembles and jazz choirs did not exist in schools when I began teaching. Many other music teachers are expert in the use of music technology which also did not exist when I began my career.”

CB: For non-professional wind and percussion players who want to continue playing beyond high school or college, the community band represents that opportunity. What is your view of the significance of the community band? 
WGM: “There is no question that the community band is an extremely important musical performance opportunity for nonprofessional musicians. Together with community orchestras and choruses, they represent the primary, and in many cases, the only opportunity for non-professional musicians to perform in a large ensemble. Community bands in particular also play an important role in preserving the heritage of band music and they are an important source of public entertainment.”

CB: And now for the question we’ve all been waiting for, would you please comment on the Concord Band in particular among community bands relative to music education. How is it different? As its Music Director, what goals have you set for the Band in your second decade? 
WGM: “The Concord Band is unique among community bands for a number of reasons. Its long tradition of commissioning new works is commendable. Few other bands can boast of this achievement. The band also has a long tradition of inviting truly outstanding guest soloists and conductors to perform with the Band. These opportunities provide very rich experiences for our members and our audiences. I plan to continue these practices and do everything I can to maintain the very high performance level of the Band. Perhaps most unique is the dedication and loyalty of the members of the Band. My primary goal is to reward that dedication by continuing to provide outstanding musical experiences for the Band members and wonderful concerts for our audiences.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Guest Artist Spotlight: Terry Everson

Guest Artist Terry Everson
Terry Everson is an internationally renowned trumpet soloist, active as performer, educator, composer/arranger and church musician. He first gained international attention in 1988, winning (on consecutive days) both the Baroque/Classical and 20th Century categories of the inaugural Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition, with further success as First Prize laureate of the 1990 Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition.

Mr. Everson has premiered major works by composers John Davison, Stanley Friedman, Jan Krzywicki, Elena Roussanova-Lucas, and Gary Ziek. His collaboration with pianist Susan Nowicki has produced two complete recordings of numerous notable modern works, as well as single entries on two discs devoted to the works of Davison and Krzywicki; he has also recorded as soloist with the New England Brass Band, the Lexington Brass Band and the Eastern Wind Symphony. He is a Life Member of the International Trumpet Guild, having served as Conference Host in 1998, and was recently appointed Music Notation Specialist for the Guild’s quarterly Journal.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Winter Concert features Composer Percy Grainger and Trumpeter Terry Everson

Composer Percy Aldridge Granger
The Concord Band will present its annual Winter Concert at 51 Walden Street in Concord on Saturday, March 4, 2006, beginning at 8:00 p.m. The concert will feature guest trumpet soloist Terry Everson and the music of composer Percy Aldridge Grainger.

Music Director Dr. William G. McManus will open the concert with the Mad Major March, a distinctly British march by Kenneth J. Alford. Alford was as famous in England for his marches as Sousa was in the United States.

In recognition of the recent passing of Alfred Reed, one of the greatest band composers of the twentieth century, the Band will perform Reed’s lovely composition Music in the Air! The Concord Band has performed numerous compositions by Alfred Reed over the years and had recently commissioned Dr. Reed to compose a piece for the Band, which the composer had not yet begun.

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