Boston radio personality Jordan Rich, of WBZ, will join the Concord Band for its Winter Concert at 8 p.m. March 7 at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord. The theme is “Portraits,” and Rich will narrate Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and W. Francis McBeth’s “Of Sailors and Whales,” a portrait of various characters from Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick.” Rich is a Boston radio veteran, having worked in the market for 36 years.
The band is excited about this collaboration, which is sponsored in part by a grant from the Concord Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
From 1996 to the present, Rich has hosted an all-night radio show on WBZ-AM 1030. At WBZ, he has interviewed thousands of authors, actors, athletes, historians, artists and scientists. Those included Concord Band music director Jim O’Dell and music director emeritus Bill McManus, who had an extended interview together on Rich’s program at the time of the band’s 50th anniversary and McManus’ transition to O’Dell in 2009.
They discussed community bands and the importance of the arts. In 2013, following the Concord Band’s Holiday Pops concert in the snow, O’Dell called in to Rich’s program on his way home and discussed the concert as well as the weather. When Jim later asked Rich if he would like to narrate “Lincoln Portrait,” Rich said that he was honored to be asked and that he had always wanted to narrate the Copland piece.
Copland wrote “Lincoln Portrait” in 1943 as part of a series of commissions and concert programs organized and led by conductor Andre Kostelanetz to promote American music. The Copland piece, which features words taken from various Lincoln speeches, is one of the earliest pieces written for large ensemble and narrator, and was transcribed in 1951 for band by Walter Beeler.
Each of the five movements of McBeth’s “Moby Dick” portrait for band begins with a quotation from Melville’s novel that Jordan Rich will read. It then offers an evocative musical portrait of that scene. The five movements (scenes) are Ishmael, Queequeg, Father Mapple, Ahab and The White Whale. This work is both intense and lyrical and includes nearly the entire band singing a hymn in the Father Mapple movement.
Other musical portraits chosen by music director Jim O’Dell, all written for band, include Marches from the Symphony No. 4 (West Point) of Morton Gould; "A Movement for Rosa," by Mark Camphouse, honoring the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks; and “Dichotomy... Impressions of Kerouac," written for the Concord Band in 1997 by University of Massachusetts/Lowell Director of University Bands Daniel Lutz.
Gould wrote the West Point Symphony in 1952 for the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Military Academy, where he conducted the premiere with the Academy Band. Dan Lutz composed "Dichotomy" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the writing of Kerouac’s novel “On The Road,” as well as the 75th anniversary of Kerouac’s birth. This Concord Band commission was also supported by the Lowell Cultural Council.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For information and reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org