Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Pops 2015 with the Concord Band & Vocalist Amanda Carr

Submitted to The Concord Journal

The Concord Band traditionally has been sponsored in the two evenings of their Pops Concerts by the Concord Rotary and the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary.  This year, the Saturday night performance was the sole domain of the Concord Band, and they hosted a wonderful, spirited evening of entertainment with the magically-effervescent Amanda Carr as vocalist on some time-honored favorites. This was truly a night to remember.

In true Pops fashion, there were marches by John Phillip Sousa and Karl L. King, satisfying in their dynamic control and pitch-perfect execution. There were old time favorites including Turkey in the Straw, a traditional tune set in a quirky and entertaining new motif by a Concord Band favorite, Lewis Buckley, currently director of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony.  The Dixieland combo featured in Tailgate Concerto was spot-on perfect in their interpretation of traditional New Orleans style jazz numbers.  A Tribute to Spike Jones is a lighthearted romp, featuring a very different type of cymbal solo, performed with great humor and aplomb by long-time percussionist Buck Grace.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meet the Trumpet Section

The Instrument

Trumpet, cornet, and piccolo trumpet (t to b)
The trumpet is one of the oldest wind instruments, dating back to 1500 BCE or earlier. The trumpet section of the Concord Band has nine members, which is fortunate since some of the compositions we play have as many as eight different parts to be played on trumpet or cornet.

The trumpet and cornet, almost always pitched in B♭ in the concert band, are the highest sounding of all of the instruments of the brass family. The two instruments, pictured in column two, have few differences. They have the same pitch range and sound almost the same.

Some would argue that their different bore shapes (the trumpet is cylindrical, like the trombone, while the cornet is conical, like the French horn), make the trumpet and cornet very different, but in a concert band trumpet section, one will often find them intermixed. A composition for band can have as many as four parts intended for trumpet and four more for cornet. These parts will not always be played on the instrument called for.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Amanda Carr Sings for the Concord Band Spring Pops

Guest Artist Amanda Carr
Have you been waiting for Spring? Well, it’s time for the Concord tradition of the Concord Band Spring Pops concerts at 51 Walden! On Friday and Saturday April 10 and 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm, the Concord Band will be joined by jazz vocalist Amanda Carr for the 40th annual Spring Pops concerts.

Amanda will sing new arrangements of Anything Goes! and Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind; Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me, Ray Noble’s The Very Thought of You, and Bill McManus’ arrangement for Amanda and the Concord Band of Mas Que Nada. Amanda Carr is the only honorary member of the Concord Band and a well-known Boston-based jazz vocalist who has been acclaimed for her performances by the Wall Street Journal among others. Since 2006, Concord Band Spring Pops audiences have eagerly awaited hearing Amanda perform with the Band.

Music Director Jim O’Dell has chosen a variety of band music to round out the Spring Pops program. The powerful K2: the Savage Mountain harkens back to this past winter with its representation of crampons on ice. Broadway and movie music includes songs by George Gershwin and highlights from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. On the humorous side, the Band will play A Salute to Spike Jones and a tongue-in-cheek arrangement of Turkey in the Straw by Concord Band friend and composer Lew Buckley.

Friday’s Pops concert, as usual, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Concord and tickets to that concert are available from Rotary at sjpaving@aol.com or by calling 508-878- 6577.

This year the Saturday concert is sponsored by the Concord Band itself. Tickets at tables for 4 are available through the Concord Band’s phone line 978-897-9969, at   reservations@concordband.org, or online at www.mktix.com/cb. Free refreshments are provided.

For further information about the Concord Band and Spring Pops, see the Band’s website at www.concordband.org or the blog at blog.concordband.org. Continue the tradition by welcoming Spring with the Concord Band.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Guest Artist Spotlight: Amanda Carr

Guest Artist Amanda Carr
Amanda Carr is a multi-styled vocalist/pianist, who began professionally as a teenager in the rock and pop genre playing in Boston area night clubs. Lately, she is receiving critical acclaim performing jazz and big band styles, focusing on fresh interpretations of the Great American Songbook.

Twice featured by respected writer and author Nat Hentoff in The Wall Street Journal, she garnered global exposure as he hailed her, “...a true jazz singer in a time of wannabes”. Sheʼs also featured in Hentoffʼs latest best-seller, “At the Jazz Band Ball: 60 Years on the Jazz Scene.”

Amanda Carr has performed and recorded in the United States and abroad, including Australia and England. While still performing and tapping into her roots of pop, blues, folk & rock with artists like the legendary James Montgomery and Myanna, Amanda has been a guest vocalist with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, Harry James Band and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, among many other guest vocal appearances. A headline artist at EuroJazz Festival in Italy along with James Moody and George Mraz, she recorded “Live in San Giorgio” with Trio Martinale in Torino in 1999.

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