The program began with Fanfare for a Festive Day by Roger Cichy. This spirited work opened a concert that was filled with energy and tonal brilliance. The band truly showed the love they hold for Bill in their enthusiastic performance and attention to intonation.
Each subsequent piece was introduced by either a member of the band or someone who has had their life touched by Bill Toland as a student or as a performer. Whether it was the words of Dan Diamond, now in his 44th year as senior percussionist with the band – as he says himself, it’s just because he got there first – or John Ferillo, a former student and currently a professional musician (in truth he has been principal oboe with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2001), one common thread passes through each description of how Bill touched the lives of his students and colleagues: He was always a coach, a cheerleader, a promoter of the welfare of all those with whom he worked.