Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Memoir: The Music that Made Me Love Symphonic Band

by Adena Schutzberg, Clarinet
(Author's note: If possible, read this while listening to the audio.)

A Rather Poor and Unmotivated Musician

May 1975 En-ka Parade. I'm the one with
black hair whose clarinet is obscured.
(Photo by Christopher Brown)
Like many of the other kids in my town, I started music lessons in fourth grade. Like many of those kids, I didn't practice much. I really enjoyed the participatory part of music. That's fifth grade me in a clarinet rank in the Winchester, MA elementary school 1975 All Star Band. I played in junior high, too, but really I was a rather poor, unmotivated musician through ninth grade.

The summer after ninth grade my mother signed my brother and me up for the University of New Hampshire's Summer Youth Music School (SYMS). We didn't know what to expect, but we did know that the first day everyone, all 350 or so students, had to audition. By that evening everyone was assigned to one or more ensembles for the two week school.

Campers graced the cover
of the 1979 double album.
There were four wind groups: two concert bands, a symphonic band and a wind ensemble. While all the groups were good (better than our high school band, certainly) it was clear musicianship rose in that order. My brother, a year old and far more talented than I, was placed in the wind ensemble and one of the jazz bands. To my great surprise, I was assigned to the symphonic band. I was seated about where I now sit in the Concord Band, one of the last clarinets in the last row of clarinets.

Let's Tune to Adena!

The first day of rehearsal we took our seats and picked up our folders. I looked through the music and it looked really hard. Then, the conductor, Walter Pavasaris (I remember his name to this day) said it was time to tune to.... Adena. I have no idea why he chose to tune to a third clarinet, but he did. And, once or twice more during the two weeks we tuned to me. I thought it was awesome. I was "somebody."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fall Concert: Mystical Moments

Winter Concert Poster
James O’Dell begins his seventh year as the Concord Band’s Music Director. "Mystical Moments" will be held at the Center for Performing Arts at 51 Walden in Concord at 8:00 pm on Saturday October 24, 2015. Pieces will include some of the most exciting, powerful, and lyrical contemporary and late Romantic' pieces for concert band.

A new twist this year by the Sudler Award-winning ensemble is that the concert will be free, although a donation will be invited. The Concord Band hopes this will encourage new audience members to enjoy the pieces that Music Director James O'Dell has selected.

The Concord Band is sponsored in part by grants from the Concord, Harvard, and Bolton Cultural Councils.

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