Friday, September 8, 2017

Songs & Dances

2017 Fall Concert Poster

The Concord Band’s 59th Season begins Saturday, October 21st

Join the Concord Band as it begins its 59th year of music-making, continuing a multiple seasons-long exploration of some of the great works for symphonic concert band. The Band’s Fall Concert, Songs and Dances, will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, MA, on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 8:00 PM. Admission is free; contributions are greatly appreciated. The 2017–2018 season begins by featuring two outstanding soloists, Concord Band alto saxophonist John Rabinowitz, and Boston Conservatory at Berklee graduate student, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Becker.

Song and Dance* by Richard L. Saucedo is a type of fanfare/overture that begins with an obvious dance rhythm but quickly transforms to a non-traditional dance feel and mood, somewhat “tongue in cheek” in nature.

John Rabinowitz
alto saxophone
Claude Debussy’s musical gem The Girl With The Flaxen Hair showcases the beautiful timbre (tone color) of the alto saxophone performed by Concord Band soloist John Rabinowitz in a lush and quasi-improvisational harmonic setting by John Moss.

Court Festival* by William P. Latham is written in the form and style of 16th- and 17th-century instrumental dance music. The four-movement suite includes “Intrada”, “Pavan”, “Galliard”, and “The Horses’ Branle”.

Cantus is the Latin word for song, and this unique work Cantus (Song of Night)*, with prepared CD accompaniment by composer Thomas Doss, presents a melodious, vocal-like meditative mood and character.
Alyssa Becker

Five Folk Songs for Soprano and Band* by Bernard Gilmore was cited as “Best Original Composition” at the 1967 College Band Directors Conference”. Mezzo-soprano soloist Alyssa Becker joins the Concord Band in presenting this setting featuring five movements representing Irish, American, Greek, Spanish, and Yiddish folk songs.

American composer David R. Holsinger wrote Havendance for his daughter, Haven, with the intention of capturing the spirit, energy, and enthusiasm of the 8- year-old as she whirled, twirled, danced, and dreamed of becoming a ballerina.

Old American Songs presents four traditional songs, originally arranged by Aaron Copland for orchestra, in a concert-band setting by John Moss. The songs include “The Little Horses”, “The Golden Willow Tree”, “Simple Gifts”, and “Ching-A-Ring Chaw.”

Prolific American composer Frank Ticheli has written more than eighty works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, and concert band/wind ensemble. His jazz-influenced composition Blue Shades was a featured work on the 2017 Concord Band Winter Concert. Cajun Folk Songs pays tribute to the people of the old Cajun culture in two movements, the first flowing and lyrical, the second lively and full of mixed meters.

*Concord Band premier performance

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Spotlight: Guest Artist Alyssa Becker

photo by Ryan Towe Photography
Alyssa Becker
Mezzo-soprano, Alyssa Becker, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, graduated cum laude from Drake University in 2016 with her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance. Currently Ms. Becker is a second year Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy student at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee under the tutelage of Kathryn Wright. She also serves as adjunct voice faculty at the Boston Arts Academy and holds a private studio at Amy Dancz Vocal Studio.

Previously, Ms. Becker has worked with vocal high school programs in the Des Moines area as well as her own home studio. Most recently, Ms. Becker was the mezzo-soprano soloist with The Boston Conservatory at Berklee Conductor’s Choir performing Haydn’s Salve Regina.

Ms. Becker received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Leanne Freeman-Miller, where she performed Mrs. Gibbs (understudy) and chorus in Ned Rorem’s Our Town, Meg in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

In 2015, Ms. Becker traveled to Bejing, China, to perform at Minzu University. She participated in opera scenes including Lakme (Mallika), Die Zauberflöte (3rd Lady), and La Clemenza di Tito (Annio).

Ms. Becker is a two-time state winner of the Music Teachers National Association competition in Iowa and in 2015 placed second in the West Central Division regional competition. At the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, Ms. Becker has received honorable mention, been a two-year semifinalist, and placed third.

Spotlight: Saxophone Soloist John Rabinowitz

John Rabinowitz
John Rabinowitz, who has played alto saxophone with the Concord Band since 2012, has studied instrumental performance extensively in the Boston area. He studied classical saxophone with Ken Radnofsky at the Longy School and the New England Conservatory, and jazz technique with Mark Phaneuf at the New School of Music in Cambridge. John also studied classical piano at the Longy School with Betty Roberts, Elise Jackendoff and Lyubov Schlain.

In addition to his ongoing participation in the Concord Band, John is a founding member of the Area 9 Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to exploring the rich, diverse and ever-growing classical saxophone repertoire. Area 9 has performed works by Bach, Glazunov, Creston, Bennett, Debussy, Lateef and Vaughan Williams, as well as world premieres of pieces by contemporary composers Jun Feng and Michael Kosch. The Quartet has significant concert schedules in Cambridge and Manhattan.

John is also a regular performer with Les Messengers de la Nouvelle Alliance, a Haitian reggae gospel band that plays throughout greater Boston. A native of Nutley, New Jersey, John earned a BA in American History from Harvard College. He currently resides in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fruitlands Summer Concerts Promotional Video


The Concord Band presents our promotional video that highlights our Summer Concert Series at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Mass. Please share our video with your friends and neighbors using the social media buttons at the bottom of this post. It's a great way to support the band by building our audience, and your friends and neighbors will be delighted with a family-friendly summer outing!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fruitlands Museum to Host Summer Concerts

7:15 PM, Thursdays, June 22 through July 27

Gather on the lawn for our annual Summer Concert Series and listen to beautiful music performed on Fruitlands’ outdoor stage!

For six weeks in June and July Fruitlands Museum welcomes The Concord Band, a group of 65 musicians from 40 area towns who have been performing since 1959. The Concord Band will treat concert-goers to a fun roster of timeless music, including pieces memorializing historic events, show tunes, patriotic favorites and more.

Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket, or purchase food from vendors. While most museum buildings close at 5:00 PM, the Art Gallery will remain open for your enjoyment until 7:00 PM.

Price is $10 per car for Museum Members, $15 per car for general admission. Concert admission includes entry to the Art Gallery until 7pm.

For more information:
Fruitlands Museum
Trustees of the Reservations

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Annual Picnic in the Park Concert

2017 Picnic in the Park Poster
For over 30 years the Town of Concord has celebrated our nation’s Independence Day with a daylong event, 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, Picnic In the Park. All are invited to the Emerson Field for 2017 Fourth of July festivities that include all day music, many kinds of food supplied by Concord non-profit organizations and activities for all ages.

Picnic in the Park is a wonderful celebration: it starts with a ride in a hot air balloon & bike parade, has food and apple pie, jewelry sale, music, and all sorts of activities for all ages.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Picnic with the Pops Community Concert in Bolton

This concert has been rescheduled for
Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

The Concord Band, led by Music Director James O'Dell, will play for the first time at the Town Common, 723 Main Street, Bolton MA on Sunday, June 4, 2017, starting at 5:00 PM. The "Concert on the Common" is hosted by The Bolton Conservation Trust to thank residents for their support in the recent clean up, development, and purchase of the Town Common reservation.

The Concord Band will play a variety of music from traditional marches and patriotic medleys to music from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Bring blankets, chairs and, of course, your picnic basket. Some refreshments will be sold. Parking is available at the nearby Trinity Church, reserved handicap and/or elderly parking is also available at the Common.

Admission is free. Call The Concord Band hotline (978-897-9969) by 3 PM on Sunday if weather is threatening.


  • Fruitlands 25 Fanfare, by William G. McManus
  • Star Spangled Banner, arr. B. Moffit
  • National Emblem March, by E.E. Bagley, arr. F. Fennell
  • Themes Like Old Times, arr. W. Barker
  • The Rakes of Mallow, by Leroy Anderson
  • Irving Berlin's Songs for America, by Irving Berlin, arr. J. Swearington
  • Swing's The Thing, arr. W. Barker
  • Cheerio March, by Edwin Franko Goldman, arr. F. Erickson
  • The Homefront, arr. J. Christensen
  • Seventy Six Trombones, by Meredith Willson, arr. L. Anderson & J. Bocook
  • Symphonic Highlights from 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End', by Hans Zimmer, arr. J. Bocook
  • Spirit of America, arr. Dean Smith
  • Dixieland on Stage, arr. B. Lowden
  • Armed Forces Salute, arr. B. Lowden
  • Star Spangled Spectacular, by George M. Cohan, arr. J. Cacavas
  • The Stars and Stripes Forever, by John Philip Sousa, arr. W. Revelli

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Concord Band Invited to Perform at Boston Festival of Bands

The Concord Band performing during the 2016 Boston Festival of Band at Faneuil Hall, Boston.
The Concord Band is thrilled to have been invited to participate in the day-long 29th annual Boston Festival of Bands, featuring performances, on the hour, by seven of the finest community concert bands from all around New England, on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The prestigious Festival, hosted by the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, features seven bands who will play from 11 AM through 6 PM in the Great Hall of historic Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston,

The day-long event, presenting the most exciting pieces for concert bands, is free. This year's ensembles include:
  • Randolph Community Band, based in Randolph, MA
  • Classic Brass, Southern Connecticut
  • Casco Bay Wind Symphony, Gorham, ME
  • Concord Band, Concord, MA
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony, Boston, MA (celebrating Lewis Buckley's 10th anniversary as music director of the Met Winds)
  • Middlesex Concert Band, Wakefield, MA
  • Rhode Island Wind Ensemble, Providence, RI
This is the 20th time that The Concord Band has been invited to perfor! The performance time for The Concord Band is 12 noon until 1 PM.


  • Bright-Colored Dances, by Lewis Buckley (in honor of his 10th anniversary as Music Director of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony)
  • Hymn to a Blue Hour, by John Mackey
  • Third Suite, by Robert Jager
  • Fugue a la Gigue, by J.S. Bach, arr. Gustav Holst
  • Variations on a Carnival of Venice, by Jean Baptiste Arban, featuring cornet soloist Richard Given

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Shades of Blue" Concert Videos

One of the Band's long-term projects is to create a comprehensive video archive of concert band literature. The archive documents our performances, helps us to improve musically, and provides a valuable online resource for band programming. You can explore performance videos hosted on our YouTube channel, ConcordBandMA.

The Performance Video Database concept has been created and led by percussionist and executive producer Dan Diamond, and video director Barry Mirrer, with generous technical assistance and resources provided by Concord-Carlisle TV. See feature articles: Performance Video DatabaseVideo Production.

The complete Concord Band Performance Video Database is accessible through a tab at the top of each blog page. With this post, we're also inaugurating a regular update for videos produced from Concord Band performances. You can play a video or view program notes by selecting links in the excerpt shown here.

Shades of Blue
Saturday, March 4, 2017
The Concord Band
James O’Dell Conducting

An Ellington Portraitarr. Floyd E. Werle
Hymn to a Blue HourJohn Mackey
PersuasionSammy NesticoDavid Southard,
alto saxophone
Blue ShadesFrank Ticheli
RockerGerry Mulliganjazz nonet
Bright-Colored DancesLewis J. Buckley
Blue SterlingWilliam G. McManusDavid Southard,
alto saxophone
Variations on
"The Carnival of Venice"
Jean Baptiste Arban;
arr. Hunsberger
Richard Given,

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spotlight: Guest Artist Christine Fawson

Christine Fawson
Guest Artist, trumpet
As a vocalist and trumpet player, Christine Fawson has always loved performing classic jazz standards from the American Songbook. Her new album, Here Now shows her originality in conjunction with some of the old songs she loves.

Christine was a member of the vocal jazz group, Syncopation from 2002-2013. The group recorded three CDs; A New Dance, Of Blue and Wonderful You which were widely successful both in the United States and Japan. Syncopation has been featured at festivals throughout the United States and Japan. The group was featured with the Boston Pops Orchestra at the 2009 4th of July Celebration in Boston.

Christine played trumpet with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra from 2004-2007. She performed with the band at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, and Lincoln Center in New York City; and with artists such as Anne Hampton Callaway, John Pizzarelli, Maurice Hines and the New York Pops. She played and sang with DIVA in concerts and festivals in Europe and throughout the United States. Most recently Christine has been a featured vocalist with the band.

Christine has been a solo artist at festivals and concerts around the world including, Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, in Sydney, Australia, World Music Festival in Hong Kong, Hanover Jazz Festival in Germany, the Women in Jazz Festival in Lucca, Italy and the Ramon Cardo Big Band in Valencia, Spain. In 2009, she was featured in the Mexican premier of Gil Evans’ Porgy and Bess with the Guadalajara Jazz Orchestra.

Christine was a member of Beantown, a high energy R&B band from 2004-2012. Beantown was featured alongside the Black Eyed Peas, Lionel Richie, Earth Wind and Fire and Alicia Keys at the New England Patriots Superbowl parties in 2005 and 2008.

Christine is a member of the brass faculty at Berklee College of Music.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Concord Band Shows Their True Colors with “Shades of Blue”

Concord Band Winter Concert
March 4th, 2017, 51 Walden Street, Concord, MA

Reviewed by Vanessa Rene

The Concord Band has reinforced their place at the head of the pack when it comes to concert bands in the Greater Boston area with their most recent concert tour-de-force, “Shades of Blue”, a concert dedicated to the influence of the blues on American Music.

These fine musicians started off the evening with their rendition of An Ellington Portrait, a compilation of favorites by perennial favorite Duke Ellington, and their execution was flawless. Other crowd pleasers in this evening of entertainment were David Southard, playing the title theme in Sammy Nestico’s Persuasion and a fine small ensemble performing the jazz composition Rocker arranged by Gerry Mulligan in 1995.

Hymn to a Blue Hour by John Mackey, a prolific composer of concert band literature who lives in Cambridge, MA, is a stirring mood piece that focuses on the hour of day when the sun has set and the light is slipping away in the blue shades of evening. The quiet, meditative style is deceptive, for it sounds simple in its flowing passages – but indeed the suspensions and dissonances necessary to build tension and feeling are devilishly hard for musicians to sustain without total concentration. Kudos to Kathryn Denney on French Horn! John Mackey is a charming and engaging gentleman with a great deal of enthusiasm for his work. Bravo!

Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli is a technically exacting piece that draws on elements of the blues – chords, rhythm changes, suspensions – without being technically a blues piece. The band performed flawlessly through a very challenging exercise in control, and the solo by Dave Purinton on clarinet, or “Licorice Stick” as it is sometimes called, really spoke!

photo courtesy Doug Finkbeiner
David Southard
alto saxophone
Bright Colored Dances by Lewis Buckley is a work in four movements, crafted to depict the light, joyful flitting of a butterfly in “Butterfly Yellow”, the graceful smooth mid-range dance of “Clarinet Green”, the pompous slightly ridiculous nature of high officials in “Comic Royal Purple” and the fiery passion of “Tarantella Red”. The band shifted effortlessly between moods in this cleverly crafted collection, again displaying their many talents and capabilities.

Blue Sterling, by CBA Music Director Emeritus Bill McManus, is a wonderful piece, commissioned especially for the Concord Band as a tribute by the family of Jerry Kriedberg, alto saxophonist with the Concord Band for over 4 decades, and lover of jazz and blues. This piece is bluesy and cool, and was performed masterfully on solo alto saxophone by David Southard (his second solo performance of the evening). This piece was originally debuted in 2013, with the solo line being performed by the composer himself.

photo courtesy Doug Finkbeiner
Richard Given
Variations on “The Carnival of Venice” is a popular concert piece with an intricate solo performed by Richard Given, principal cornetist with the Concord Band. This piece is characterized by its ever-increasing technicality in the variations of the repeated theme, so well-known to so many. Upon the completion of the piece, Mr. Given gave the audience a brief tutorial in how simple the final iteration is (definitely not!). He then treated the crowd to an encore of this variation. The band did a commendable job of supporting his solo.

Vanessa Rene has been an oboist for most of her life and was a member of the Concord Band from 1989 to 2008. She lives in Lowell with her husband, Larry, and her dog, Bob. When she is not working, she plays the oboe with the Chelmsford Community Band and sings with the Carlisle Community Chorus.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Pops Presents Dynamic Guest Artist Christine Fawson

The Concord Band is excited this year to be presenting an eclectic and crowd-pleasing program, which will feature the dynamic and infectious Berklee faculty member Christine Fawson as lead jazz vocalist and trumpeter.

Her pieces will include Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm", "But Not For Me", and "Embraceable You", as well as Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and a rousing version of "Massachusetts", made famous by the Gene Krupa Big Band. (We're expecting a lot of audience participation on that one!)

Also on the program: Gustav Holst's arrangement of Bach's "Fugue a la Gigue", composer Julie Giroux's remarkable "Boston Liberties" (commissioned by the Concord Band in 2008), a tribute to Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein's "Danzon", a little Dixieland and Sousa's "Stars and Stripes". In other words, a little something for every taste!

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12, which includes seating is at tables for 4 and light refreshments. Go to, or send email to, or call 978-897-9969.

Parking: A special note for those thinking of attending the Friday night performance: there's a big Hollywood film currently being shot in Concord across the street from 51 Walden. It stars Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. They'll be doing some shooting on Friday night, which shouldn't interfere with our program ... BUT ... parking around the venue will be severely limited. The recommendation is to come on the early side and be prepared to park a few blocks from the venue. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter Concert 2017

Shades of Blue

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Steven Barbas, Assistant Conductor
Richard Given, Cornet Soloist
David A. Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
James O’Dell, Conducting
An Ellington Portraitarr. Floyd E. Werle
Hymn to a Blue HourJohn Mackey
PersuasionSammy Nestico
David Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
Blue ShadesFrank Ticheli
RockerGerry Mulligan
Bright-Colored DancesLewis J. Buckley
  1. Butterfly Yellow
  2. Clarinet Green
  3. Comic Royal Purple
  4. Tarantella Red
Blue Sterling: Theme for JerryWilliam G. McManus
David Southard, Alto Saxophone Soloist
Variations on "The Carnival of Venice"Jean Baptiste Arban
arr. Hunsberger
Richard Given, Cornet Soloist

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Concord Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

An Ellington Portrait

Duke Ellington was one of the few jazz artists whose style never seemed to become dated. He was always able to blend his own art with new influences and trends. Songs he wrote as long as seventy years ago still sound fresh and many of the most up-to-date jazz musicians still play them. Floyd Werle’s setting of An Ellington Portrait includes eight—but by no means all—of his best ones: “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” (his first hit), “Azure,” “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart,” “Solitude,” “Caravan” and “In A Sentimental Mood.” (Source: Band Music Notes)

Hymn to a Blue Hour

The blue hour is an oft-poeticized moment of the day—a lingering twilight that halos the sky after sundown but before complete darkness sets in. It is a time of day known for its romantic, spiritual, and ethereal connotations. This is the same essence that inhabits the sonic world of John Mackey’s Hymn to a Blue Hour. The title itself contains two strongly suggestive implications—first, the notion of hymnody, which implies a transcendent and perhaps even sacred tone; and second, the color blue, which has an inexorable tie [blues] to American music. Hymn to a Blue Hour is not directly influenced by the blues, but there is throughout the piece a sense of nostalgic remorse and longing. (Source: Jake Wallace)


Samuel Louis “Sammy” Nestico was a staff arranger for the USAF Band in Washington, D. C. for fifteen years, and for five years, the United States Marine Band. His arrangements and compositions have been a part of over 60 television programs, including M*A*S*H and Love Boat. Persuasion begins in a moderato tempo and the sweet sound of the solo alto saxophone gets the listener interested in its after-statements of themes played by the ensemble. A short phrase in cut-time offers an interesting twist before returning to the tempo and theme of the start. It is easy to understand the persuasion of the piece after its climax of a solo cadenza and mellow ending. (Source: Foothills Symphonic Winds)

Blue Shades

As its title suggests, Blue Shades alludes to the blues, and a jazz feeling is prevalent; however, it is not literally a blues piece. There is not a single 12-bar blues progression in this piece by acclaimed American composer Frank Ticheli, and except for a few isolated sections, the eighth note is not swung. The work, however, is heavily influenced by the blues: “blue notes” (flatted 3rds, 5ths, and 7ths) are used constantly; blues harmonies, rhythms, and melodic idioms pervade the work; and many “shades of blue” are depicted, from bright blue, to dark, to dirty, to hot blue. A clarinet solo recalls Benny Goodman’s hot playing style, and ushers in a series of “wailing” brass chords recalling the train whistle effects commonly used during that era. (Source: Published Score)


The jazz composition Rocker (also known as Rock Salt) was written in 1950 for the Miles Davis Nonet. The group featured several jazz greats: Miles Davis (trumpet), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Charles Mingus (bass) and also Gunther Schuller (French horn). The tune, written and arranged by Gerry Mulligan, was recorded by the group on the album “Birth of the Cool.” Rocker was written for alto sax, baritone sax, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, piano, bass and drums. The version that you will hear follows the original score of 1950 with a few corrections made by Gerry Mulligan in 1995, a few months before his death. (Source: Marvin.D. Drake)

Bright-Colored Dances

Composer Lewis Buckley writes, “Each of the four movements of Bright Colored Dances represents a visual image of motion to me. In the first, ‘Butterfly Yellow’, a beautiful golden ball of light finds a dark, empty stage. The ball of light floats out onto the stage, hesitant at first, then breaks into a joyful dance. In the second movement, ‘Clarinet Green’, graceful classical dance is the image, represented by the clarinet, whose beautiful middle range has always appeared green to me. The third movement, ‘Comic Royal Purple’, presents that haughty, empty-headed public official whom we all know, strutting around all puffed up with self-importance. The tuba cadenza perfectly represents this ridiculous dolt. ‘Tarantella Red’ is both a tribute to my Italian heritage and a vivid image of excited, emotional dancers surrounded by an enthusiastic, clapping crowd. I have always envisioned the tarantella in tones of red.” (Source: Lewis Buckley)

Blue Sterling: Theme for Jerry

Concord Band Music Director Emeritus, Dr. William G. McManus, was commissioned by the family of Concord Band alto saxophonist Dr. Gerald Kriedberg, Blue Sterling is subtitled “Theme for Jerry”. The piece reflects the style of music that Jerry loved most and enjoyed playing—big band jazz and swing. After an introduction by the full band, the solo alto introduces the main theme based on a minor blues progression. The second section features a saxophone soli, once again based on a blues progression, but this time in a major key. After a restatement of the opening solo section, the full band plays a “shout chorus” in typical “big-band style” while the solo alto improvises over the band. The piece closes with a final restatement of the main minor blues theme by the solo alto. (Source: W. G. McManus)

Variations on "The Carnival of Venice"

Variations on "The Carnival of Venice" by Jean Baptiste Arban is based on a popular Venetian song that celebrates the longtime Venetian festival that occurs during the two weeks prior to Ash Wednesday. The tune’s unbridled gaiety and enthusiasm immediately attracts the attention of the listener, which has made it one of the most popular thematic vehicles for both writers and performers. (Source: Published Score)

Richard Given, cornet soloist

Richard Given
cornet, flugelhorn
Richard Given, an alumnus of the New England Conservatory and Eastman School of Music, has been principal trumpet of the Concord Band since 2015 and the Lexington Symphony since 2005. He has been called “a sovereign of the Trumpet” by the Boston Globe for his work with the Boston Classical Orchestra, where he served as principal trumpet for more than 20 years, and given the Globe’s accolade, “a genius of sound” for a premiere recording. Known for his musical versatility, he has toured nationally with the Broadway shows Les Miserables, Pirates of Penzance, 42nd Street, and Sweeney Todd, and has played in the Boston productions of Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. In addition, he has toured Italy, performing the music of Bach and Haydn with the Chorus of Westerly. Rich’s favorite distractions from the trumpet are skiing, mountain biking and disc golf.

David Southard, alto saxophone soloist

David Southard
David Southard began music lessons on his family’s spinet organ in elementary school, switched to saxophone in middle school, and studied clarinet in college. As an adult, he has enjoyed performing in concert bands and big bands, as well as musical theatre and jazz ensembles. Since emigrating from California and joining the Concord Band in 1988, David has performed as soloist on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones. David earned a doctorate in computer science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and is a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. David resides in Bedford, Massachusetts, with his wife, two children (plus an adult child away at graduate school), two cats, one dog, and eight tropical fish.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Band Members Solo in Winter Concert

The Concord Band continues its 2016-17 season with a concert entitled "Shades of Blue" featuring two Band members as soloists. The concert, led by Music Director James O'Dell, will take place at 51 Walden, The Performing Arts Center in Concord, MA, at 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 4, 2017. Admission is free; voluntary contributions are welcome at the door.

David Southard, alto sax player with the Band since 1988, will be featured in two pieces:  Persuasion by Sammy Nestico and Blue Sterling (Theme for Jerry) by Concord Band Music Director Emeritus Dr. William G. McManus.  Richard Given, principal trumpet of the Concord Band since 2015, will play Jean Baptiste Arban’s Variations on the Carnival of Venice.

David Southard
alto saxophone soloist
Persuasion, written in the mid-1960s by Sammy Nestico, creator of many arrangements for the Count Basie Band, showcases the lyrical sounds of the alto saxophone in a lush and jazz-infused harmonic setting. The 93-year-old Nestico played trombone in the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, and Charley Barnet.  He was also an arranger for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine bands in Washington DC.  Since 1996, the Air Force Band has sponsored an annual competition for big band composers and arrangers and presents the annual Sammy Nestico Award in his honor.  In addition to playing saxophone in the Concord Band, David Southard enjoys playing in area big bands, and music theater and jazz ensembles.  He holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, is a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and resides in Bedford, MA with his family.

Bill McManus composed Blue Sterling (Theme for Jerry) in 2012 in memory of Dr. Gerald Kriedberg, longtime alto saxophonist with the Concord Band from 1973 until his death in 2012. Set in a moderate swing tempo, the soloist interweaves the melody through a series of clever “big band” background riffs and jazz harmonizations.  McManus composed the piece as a commission from the Concord Band and Kriedberg’s widow and played the premiere on Jerry’s alto sax with the Concord Band in April 2013.  Dave Southard played the solo at the Concord Band’s summer concert series at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard MA in July 2013.

Richard Given
trumpet soloist
Variations on The Carnival of Venice by Jean Baptiste Arban is based on a popular Venetian song and presents a number of variations on the theme. Each variation presents a whirlwind of cornet virtuosity and multiple tonguing techniques by the soloist. This arrangement was prepared by Donald Hunsberger (conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble) specifically for cornet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis and an acclaimed 1987 album by Marsalis, Hunsberger, and Eastman.  Rich Given is an alumnus of the New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, has been principal trumpet of the Lexington Symphony since 2005, and was principal trumpet with Boston Classical Orchestra.  Rich has also toured nationally with the Broadway shows Les Miserables, Pirates of Penzance, 42nd Street, Sweeney Todd, as well as performing in Boston productions of Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon.

Bright-Colored Dances by Metropolitan Wind Symphony Music Director and longtime friend of the Concord Band, Lewis J. Buckley, is a set of four dances for wind ensemble, based on the colors he envisioned when conceptualizing the four movements in 1997. According to Buckley, “The first, Butterfly Yellow, is introduced by the piccolo which represents a cheerful, yellow dash of color that happens upon a dark, empty stage. The dash of color takes a few experimental steps, sees that no one seems to mind, and breaks joyfully into the first dance.” The other three dances are Clarinet Green, Comic Royal Purple and Tarantella Red. Buckley said that it isn’t important that the listener envision the same colors as he did, “the magic of music is of the process that begins with the composer’s pen, is complete only when the music has interacted with the imagination of each individual listener.”

Blue Shades, written by esteemed band composer Frank Ticheli in 1997, was inspired by his own earlier work for jazz band and orchestra. In describing the piece, the composer writes “the work alludes to the Blues, and a jazz feeling is prevalent. Blues harmonies, rhythms, and melodic idioms pervade the work; and many ‘shades of blue’ are depicted, from bright blue, to dark, to dirty, to hot.” Ticheli also pays tribute to the big band era. He said the slow middle section “recalls the atmosphere of a dark, smoky blues haunt. An extended clarinet solo, played in the concert by principal clarinet David Purinton, played near the end recalls Benny Goodman’s hot playing style, and ushers in a series of ‘wailing’ brass chords recalling the train whistle effects commonly used during that era.”

The music of Duke Ellington and 43-year old composer John Mackey round out the Concord Band’s Winter Concert program. An Ellington Portrait was arranged by Floyd Werle, who was the U.S. Air Force Band’s chief musical arranger for more than 30 years. Mackey’s Hymn to a Blue Hour evokes the magical and mystical time of day between twilight and darkness.

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