Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fruitlands Museum Summer Concert Series

Sunset view as the Concord Band performs at
Fruitlands Museum Summer Concert Series
Thursdays, June 20 through July 25, 7:15–9pm

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 we welcome back 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, holiday favorites and more. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket, or purchase food from one of our food vendors. BYOB welcome on the lawn.

Gates open at 5pm for picnics and enjoying the grounds. Although the remainder of the museum buildings close at 5pm, the Art Gallery will remain open until 7pm. Concert admission price includes entry to the Art Gallery. Concerts begin at 7:15pm.

Admission is $15/car for members, $20/car for nonmembers. Walk-ins, bicycles, and motorcycles: $5 member, and $10 nonmember.

Please note that gate admission is cash or check only. To pay with a credit card please purchase in advance online Tickets available

For more information, contact 978.456.3924 ext. 5, or email

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Sounds of Summer

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Concord Band Summer Season schedule card

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Boston Festival of Bands

Concord Band Performing in 2016 at historic Faneuil Hall for the Boston Festival of Bands.
The Concord Band, New England's premiere recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll Award, will perform at 31st annual Boston Festival of Bands. The festival, hosted by The Metropolitan Wind Symphony—MetWinds, will be held at Faneuil Hall, adjacent to Quincy Market in Boston, on Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free to the public.

Spend the second Saturday in June downtown shopping, eating, enjoying the city, and listening to some of the area's finest wind ensembles. Enjoy the many talented bands performing throughout the day in the heart of Faneuil Hall near Boston Harbor. There will be music to please all tastes. The bands will perform selections ranging from Broadway show music to Sousa marches to classical.

Program of participating bands

Time Band Town Conductor
11amSharon Concert BandSharon, MA Mr. Steve Bell
12pmConcord BandConcord, MAMr. James O’Dell
1pmMetWindsBoston, MAMr. Lewis Buckley
2pmPlainville Wind EnsemblePlainville, CTMr. Ken Bagley
3pmAmerican BandProvidence, RIDr. Brian Cardany
4pmMiddlesex Concert BandWakefield, MAMr. Mark Olson
5pmCasco Bay Wind SymphonyGorham, MEMr. Peter Martin

The Concord Band and MetWinds are funded in part by
the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Community Band with a Professional Attitude

by Daniel S. Diamond, PhD

In 1994, when the Concord Band began to search for the successor to William M. Toland, who was planning to retire after 32 years as the Band's first Music Director, I proposed that we adopt as our motto The Community Band with a Professional Attitude to distinguish ourselves from most other community bands.

We are not a professional band. The majority of our members do not support themselves from income earned playing their instruments. Furthermore, Concord Band members are volunteers; the only paid members of the Band are our Music Director and Assistant Conductor.

So what does it mean for the nonprofessional Concord Band to have a professional attitude? It means that we make a significant effort to do everything both musically and in support of our musical product-as well as we can, subject to our natural skills, training, the amount of personal time available and the Band's resources. In a past Notes from the Concord Band newsletter, I wrote that in the area of marketing, the Concord Band really has to do most everything that the Boston Symphony Orchestra does, but only with volunteers and substantially less budget.

William M. Toland
Music Director Laureate
Over time, any community-based music performance organization will seek to improve itself through more innovative programming and performances of increasing quality. These will attract larger audiences and more skilled members. These, in turn, will make it possible for the ensemble to tackle more difficult works. Each of the Concord Band's three Music Directors has had his own approach.

William M. Toland, named Music Director Laureate shortly after his death, focused on what he considered to be good music, but avoided music that he thought was too demanding. He initiated the important practice of bringing in high caliber guest conductors, adding an important dimension to the education and experience of our members.

Working with a new or guest conductor is a very special experience, particularly for amateur musicians. Each conductor has his or her own unique characteristics, both in rehearsing a piece of music and in communicating information about it during a performance. Guest conductors tend to elevate almost everything in a player: One's attention level is elevated significantly. Preparation for rehearsals and performances with a guest conductor is noticeably more intense than usual. All of this inevitably leads to an improved performance level, which one hopes will carry forward.
Dr. William G. McManus
Music Director Emeritus

Concord Band guest conductors have included Frederick Fennell, William Revelli, Arnald Gabriel, Leonard B. Smith, John Corley, Willis Traphagan, Peter Hazzard, Lee Chrisman, James Curnow, Steven Grimo, Thomas G. Everett, Alfred Dentino, Christopher Morehouse, Paul Berler, William H. Silvester, Malcolm W. Rowell, Steven Barbas, Elliot Del Borgo and Keith Brion.

Music Director Emeritus, Dr. William G. McManus, was willing to have the Band take on challenging works, which depended on members' polishing their parts at home and he planned for extra rehearsal time before presenting such works in concert.

James O'Dell
Music Director
Current Music Director, James O'Dell, assumes that the Concord Band can handle pretty much anything, but in his first decade, at least, he has avoided works that would require so much personal practice and rehearsal time that it would detract from other pieces on a program.

What has been the result of the efforts of our three Music Directors and our membership, in which there is very little turnover? In 2013, the Concord Band received the Sudler Silver Scroll from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. This award, "North America's most prestigious award for community concert bands, recognizes community concert bands of outstanding musical excellence." The Concord Band was the first community band in New England to receive the Sudler Silver Scroll.

The first five pieces written for the Concord Band were all gifts. In 1974, the Town of Concord Bicentennial Celebration Committee provided small sums to the Concord Band, Orchestra and Players to have works written on the occasion of the Bicentennial. Concord Band Music Director William M. Toland approached internationally recognized composer Norman Delio Joio, who proposed re-scoring his own piano composition, Satiric Dances for a Comedy by Aristophanes, for wind ensemble. This first commission of the Concord Band has been extremely successful. It has been performed all over the world by concert bands from high school to professional military bands.

The Concord Band's outstanding contributions to concert band repertoire.
Since 1967 the Concord Band has either commissioned, or received as gifts, 83 new compositions and arrangements for symphonic wind ensemble—possibly more than any other community band in the world.

Additional composers of works for the Concord Band have included Peter Hazzard, Richard Cornell, Robert Sirota, John Bavicchi, Douglas Toland, Kurt Phinney, Warren Barker, John Higgins, James Curnow, Thomas J. McGah, Dan Lutz, Stephen Bulla, William Gordon, Lewis Buckley, Julie Giroux, Elliot Del Borgo, Jerry Seeco, Roger Cichy, Andrew Boysen, Jr., Rene Pfister et al, Jerry Vabulas, William M. Toland, and Dr. William G. McManus.

Dan Diamond is the senior member of the Concord Band, having joined the Band as a percussionist in January, 1970, and is now in his 50th year. He has been a member of its Board of Trustees for most of his time in the Band. In 2009, he received the Band's Lifetime Service Award.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Patriots' Day Commemorative Concert

The Concord Band got its start as a marching unit in Concord’s Patriots’ Day Parade sixty years ago, and about ten years later became an all-concert ensemble. On Monday April 15, 2019, the Concord Band will celebrate its 60th Anniversary with a concert of commemorative and patriotic music. Music Director James O’Dell has selected a program especially for this occasion, memorializing Concord's rich culture and unique place in American history.

Middlesex Volunteers Fife & Drum
Concord Patriots' Day parade
The concert will be held on Patiots' Day at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord at 11:00 am. The concert is free and open to the public (donations appreciated), and we hope it will attract families and parade-goers at the conclusion of the annual parade. No reservations are required and seating is first come, first served. Audience members should be aware of the parking and traffic restrictions in Concord Center, with 51 Walden but a short walk from the parade route.

Captain David Brown's Company of Minute Men,
North Bridge, Concord, Minute Man NHP
The concert will open with a new fanfare, premiered at the Band’s 60th Anniversary winter concert in March, Emblazoned Joy by Roger Cichy. The Band will present a complete performance of its newest commission, Diamond Jubilee Suite by Andrew Boysen Jr., which received an enthusiastic standing ovation at its premiere. Gustav Holst was one of the first composers to write specifically for symphonic bands and his First Suite for Military Band is among the finest of his compositions. It is a much-loved classic for Band players as well as audiences. Another highlight of the concert will be Stephen Bulla’s North Bridge Portrait, also commissioned by the Concord Band in 1999. The piece honors and evokes April 19, 1775 including the Shot Heard Round the World, which is the focus of Concord's Patriots' Day commemoration.

The Concord Band has members from 40 communities including Concord and is supported by grants from the Concord and Bolton Cultural Councils.  The Band plays concerts during the summer on Thursday evenings at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard MA.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Spotlight: Jazz Vocalist John Stevens

Guest Artist John Stevens
Jazz Vocalist
When I was five I was introduced by my grandparents, Roy and Isobel Boller to the Great American Songbook and classic tunes of Dean Martin, Cole Porter, Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, and, of course, my all-time favorite vocalist Frank Sinatra. There was something special about Frank. He was so unique and smooth with his phrasing. No one can perform like the Chairman Of The Board.

I participated in school choruses and choirs from 3rd grade through my senior year of high school. NYSSMA adjudications, All County, Area All-State, and All State choirs were all an important part of my training. When I was 8, I began taking piano lessons. My grandmother even gave me her piano so that I could practice. I joined the Western New York Children’s Choir, Buffalo Choral Arts Society, and American Music Abroad Empire Tour, which gave me the opportunity to perform in such places as New Orleans, Hawaii, France, Austria, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Never having been out of the country, touring with these choirs was an amazing experience. Little did I know that it would be my first trip to New York City that would change my life forever.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Spotlight: Guest Artist Amanda Carr

Guest Artist Amanda Carr
Amanda Carr recently joined public radio station WICN, Jazz+ for New England, as Executive Director, having been involved with the station for over 20 years following her first-ever interview as a jazz artist. In addition to her music and production background, Amanda brings her sales and marketing knowledge to her role at the station.

Amanda is an international recording and touring artist who has received worldwide critical acclaim of her fresh interpretations of the Great American Songbook. The Wall Street Journal hails her, “...a true jazz singer in a time of wannabes”.

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, she recorded “Live in San Giorgio” with Trio Martinale in Torino, Italy.

Her Portuguese rendition of ‘Mas Que Nada’ labeled her the Top Three Vocalists of 2009 in the jazz category in Brazil’s ‘Rio Review’. Amanda successfully created and headlined a cross-country tour show of  “A Tribute to Peggy Lee” which sold out thirty dates and still remains a draw for audiences.

Among her corporate and commercial work, she has composed and performed music for two PBS documentaries, one being ‘The Story of Golf’ which received an Emmy Nomination, and also acclaim for her musical contributions to ‘Boston Red Sox: 100 Years of Baseball History’. Her original work with childrenʼs music for the  ‘Lilʼ Iguana’ series is among her favorite composing and recording projects. She is the writer and composer for The Boston Anthem which has been adopted by major Boston sports teams, corporations, organizations and schools.

Her most ambitious project, a big band album entitled “Common Thread”, debuted on the top of multiple Jazz Best Seller charts and in the top 50 on Billboard. Paying homage to her big band musician parents, Amanda founded ‘American Big Band Preservation Society’ in 2009,  a non-profit that preserves the essence of American musical heritage.

She was chosen to represent the USA in a music ambassadorship to Shanghai, China in 2014. Currently, she is Artist Liaison for the esteemed organization, ‘Boston Women in Media and Entertainment’ authoring a popular online interview series. Amanda is an official CBS Radio commentator for Boston’s prestigious annual “Boston Pops July 4th” concert on the Esplanade with WBZ News Radio.

With five jazz vocal recordings, global distribution and airplay, Amanda continues to perform as a solo artist while remaining a popular guest artist. Amanda was presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for 2015 by Rotary International, and she was nominated for 2016 Boston Music Awards Jazz Artist of the Year. Closer to home, Amanda Carr is one of only two artists in history named Honorary Member of the Concord Band.

Source: Used with permission.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Concord Band Presents “Music from the Movies and More!”

To continue its 60th anniversary season, the Concord Band will hold its annual Spring Pops concerts at 8 pm, April 12 and 13 at 51 Walden Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord.

In addition to Pops soloist Amanda Carr, the concert will include American Idol finalist John Stevens and Boston-based jazz drummer Joe Hunt, who will help the band present “Music from the Movies and More!” They will sing solos from the American songbook and jazz duets in a nightclub setting.

To introduce and supplement the vocal performances, Music Director James O’Dell will lead the Concord Band in a medley of songs by Irving Berlin and music from the Disney movie and hit Broadway musical, Aladdin. The band will also premiere a new dance number, Rainbow Samba, by former Concord Band percussionist Anthony Hyde.

Amanda Carr
Guest Artist
Carr, an honorary member of the Concord Band, has sung with the Boston Pops and has toured the United States with her own Peggy Lee tribute show. She has been a big band vocalist with the Artie Shaw, Harry James and Glenn Miller orchestras. She has also been a headline artist at the Euro-Jazz Festival in Italy. Carr performed at the band’s 50th anniversary concert in 2009 and has had several band-vocal pieces arranged for her performances with the Concord Band.

John Stevens
Guest Artist
Stevens got his start as a finalist on American Idol and has sung with the Boston Pops, the Beantown Swing Orchestra and currently fronting his own John Stevens Band. He has released albums of jazz and big-band standards and his first album of original songs in 2015.

Stevens and Carr will sing duets and solos in their Pops performances with the Concord Band, backed up by Hunt, who played with Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie in the 1960s. Hunt taught at Berklee School of Music and New England Conservatory, and was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masters Orchestra.

The April 12 Pops concert is sponsored, for the 42nd consecutive year, by the Rotary Club of Concord . April 12 tickets are available through Rotary at

The Concord Band sponsors the April 13 concert. Tickets for April 13 are available for $25 each at tables for four (and a few tables for six) with free refreshments at

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

51 Walden Becomes Concord Cabaret Club

Spring Pops Concerts

Friday & Saturday April 12 & 13 • 8 PM

The Concord Band Spring Pops concerts will feature the spectacular talents of honorary Band member Amanda Carr and American Idol alumnus John Stevens. 51 Walden will be transformed into the Concord Cabaret Club complete with mood lighting and sounds, on the theme, Music from the Movies and More! The vocal talents of Amanda and John will swoon with a variety of duets and solos including New York, New York, I Had The Time Of My Life, Over The Rainbow, Hello Dolly, and other perennial favorites.

featuring jazz vocalists
Amanda Carr and John Stevens

Friday, April 12, 2019 • 8 PM
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Concord
or call Noel at 978-505-2783

Saturday, April 13, 2019 • 8 PM
Sponsored by The Concord Band
Adults–$25, children under 12–$15.
or call 978-897-9969

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Concord Band Celebrates Their 60th Anniversary

By Pamela Marshall

The “Happy Anniversary” Winter Concert by the Concert Band on Saturday March 2, 2019 was a joyous event. The 60-year history of the band was evident in every detail. The program included music the band has commissioned over the years, including two new commissions for this concert. The composers were there to conduct their music. Music Director Emeritus William McManus, who retired 10 years ago, was there as guest conductor too. Music Director James O’Dell spoke before each piece with stories about his own 10-year tenure with the Band, his connection with his predecessor Bill McManus, and his pride in the band’s accomplishments.

The Band members are devoted, and many have been in the band for many years. They are also fine musicians. Every section—brass, woodwinds, percussion—had their moment to shine in the diverse programming.

Both commissioned composers, Roger Cichy and Andrew Boysen Jr., hit independently upon the same musical germ, turning the initials of the Concord Band Association into the equivalent musical notes or keys: C, B, A.

Cichy’s Emblazoned Joy fanfare surprised us when the quiet middle section supported a spoken intro to the concert. When the energetic fanfare returned, punctuated by wooden whip and bass drum flourishes, we, the audience, were fully into the festive mood.

Andrew Boysen’s piece, Diamond Jubilee Suite wrapped the music history of bands in general and the history of the Concord Band into his piece. The first movement began and ended with snare drum and piccolo alone delicately evoking a fife-and-drum corps marching in and heading away. The second movement “Song” began with a lovely saxophone solo, Director Emeritus Bill McManus’s instrument, and the third movement “Finale” opened with a lively tuba solo in tribute to current Director Jim O’Dell. The Finale gradually brought in the whole ensemble, layering its intricate rhythmic patterns to create a rousing ending for the whole band, and the thrilling energy brought the audience to its feet in a standing ovation.

A 25th anniversary commission followed the fanfare, Five Concord Diversions, by James Curnow. It featured a solo brass quintet, played by members of the Band – Richard Given and Art Zavarella on trumpet, Cameron Owen on horn, Peter Norton on trombone, and Kevin Kozik on tuba. This difficult piece showed off the musical skill of these soloists, as well as individual members of the woodwinds, brass, and percussion. In “Introduction”, the brass soloists played sparkling musical fanfares over a clock-like accompaniment from the woodwinds. In “Romance”, Rich Given’s solo trumpet was a quietly dramatic beginning and each soloist took the expressive lead in turn, with woodwind solos interspersed. An unusual duet between Kevin Kozik on tuba and oboe crowned this gorgeous movement. The short “March” featured percussion providing the rhythmic support for the solo quintet. Then they cleverly switched roles as the brass players marked the beat and the woodblock reduced the melody to its rhythmic essence – neatly done. “Ballad” featured the various sections of the brass in answer to their soloing representative, starting with the horn’s beautiful opening statement. The low brass in particular shone with its smooth and rich warm sound. The Finale started with the whole band, playing an angular energetic theme. The angular theme became more and more solid and finished in a rousing ending. Bravo to the soloists and the whole band in this challenging work.

The program included several other delightful works, including Valdres, an elegant Norwegian march featuring Richard Given on cornet; a magically clever Abracadabra by Ticheli; Flourish for Wind Band by Vaughan Williams; and Sousa’s first big hit, The Gladiator.

The hall was nearly full, with an audience of appreciative listeners and supportive families. Several band alumni traveled from far away to be in Concord for this happy occasion. A few of them joined the band onstage to play William Toland’s arrangement of Auld Lang Syne, a traditional closer for the Concord Band’s Pops concerts. The audience sang along gently, but this singer didn’t want to cover up the warm lyricism of the instruments themselves.

There were speeches during this celebratory concert, but they were cleverly interspersed through the program, avoiding any speech-boredom. Band President Ken Troup read a congratulatory Proclamation from the Town of Concord Select Board. Jim O’Dell presented June Grace, band member since 1971, with a certificate on her retirement. The president of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, another fine local band, brought his congratulations. Everyone who was at this concert knows that the Concord Band is a local treasure, and their music-making is a boon to the Concord community.

Pamela Marshall is a composer ( and horn player from Lexington who has been a member of the Concord Orchestra for more than 20 years. She has many conflicts of interest as she writes about the Band since she has many friends among its members.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Winter Concert 2019

Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, March 2, 2019 • 8:00 PM

The Concord Band
James O’Dell, Music Director
Andrew Boysen, Jr., Guest Conductor
Roger Cichy, Guest Conductor
Dr. William G. McManus, Music Director Emeritus
James O’Dell conducting
Emblazoned Joy*Roger Cichy (1956–)
Roger Cichy conducting
Five Concord Diversions**James Curnow (1943–)
Trumpets: R. Given, A. Zavarella
Trombone: P. Norton
French Horn: C. Owen
Tuba: K. Kozik
  1. Introduction
  2. Romance
  3. March
  4. Ballad
  5. Finale
Flourish for Wind BandR. Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
ValdresJohannes Hanssen (1874–1967)
arr. G. Bainum
AbracadabraFrank Ticheli (1958–)
A Festival PreludeAlfred Reed (1921–2005)
William McManus conducting
Diamond Jubilee Suite*Andrew Boysen, Jr. (1968–)
Andrew Boysen, Jr., conducting
  1. March
  2. Song
  3. Finale
Auld Lang SyneTraditional
arr. William Toland (1931–2012)
The GladiatorJohn Philip Sousa (1854–1932)
 *Concord Band Commission, 2019
**Concord Band Commission, 1988

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.

Five Concord Diversions for Brass Quintet and Symphonic Winds and Percussion

James Curnow (b. 1943)

One of the Concord Band’s many commissions, Five Concord Diversions was written in 1987 by James Curnow in commemoration of William Toland’s 25th year as Music Director of the Concord Band. Curnow chose to score the brass quintet with homogeneous and heterogeneous groupings of the band. The outer movements of this work feature brass quintet and the tutti ensemble, while the inner three movements feature the brass quintet paired with woodwinds, percussion, and brass respectively. Tonight’s performance comes 25 years, almost to the day, after the première performance, held in the Sentry Center Auditorium in Concord on March 7, 1987, with the composer conducting the Concord Band and the Back Bay Brass Quintet. The composer’s inscription found on the inside cover of the manuscript score reads “For the outstanding preparation of, the commissioning of, and the support of ‘Five Concord Diversions’―Thank you, this has been an excellent weekend. Congratulations on 25 years―you have a fine organization. Best wishes, Jim.” (Source: JRO)

Flourish for Wind Band

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote some of the earliest works for twentieth- century concert band, with many of his pieces considered pillars of band literature. Flourish for Wind Band was written as an overture to the pageant Music and the People performed in the Royal Albert Hall in 1939. The score was then lost, only to reappear in 1971. Flourish for Wind Band is significant, in part, because it is a relatively easy work (grade 3 of 5), by a composer of high stature and skill. (Source: Creekside Middle School Wind Symphony)


Valdres is a greatly loved petite Norwegian tone-poem in march time. Its composer, Johannes Hanssen, began his career as a tenor-horn player in the Oslo Military Band in 1900. The opening tune is a bugle call from the Valdres Battalion; Valdres is a valley is southern Norway. The second subject is an old tune for hardanger-fiddle; the trio is a pentatonic tune based upon Norwegian folk music. (Source: Glenn C. Bainum)


Abracadabra was composed by Frank Ticheli in the summer of 2004, and was orchestrated the following November during a residency at the MacDowell Colony. “The piece is dedicated to my son, and is at once playful and serious, innocent and mischievous. A sense of mystery pervades as the dark key of G minor is balanced by sudden shifts to bright and sunny major keys. Throughout the composition I was thinking about magic, not in an evil or frightening sense, but as a source of fun and fantasy.” (Source: Frank Ticheli)

A Festival Prelude

Alfred Reed’s A Festival Prelude was composed in 1956 for the 25th Anniversary of the Tri-State Music Festival, located in Enid, Oklahoma. The music is built up entirely from one main theme and two fanfare-like figures that occur throughout the score. The composer writes “the music was to establish a bright and brilliant mood throughout, with no other connotation in mind.” (Source: Published Score)

Auld Lang Syne

In 1788 Robert Burns sent the poem “Auld Lang Syne” to the Scots Musical Museum, indicating that it was an ancient song but that he'd been the first to record it on paper. This arrangement is by Concord Band Music Director Laureate, William M. Toland. The phrase “auld lang syne” roughly translates as “for old times’ sake,” and the song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year. It is sung all over the world, evoking a sense of belonging and fellowship, tinged with nostalgia. (Source:

Bill Toland’s arrangement of the traditional folk song Auld Lang Syne, which continues to be played at the conclusion of Concord Band Holiday Pops concerts. (JRO)

The Gladiator

Nothing among John Philip Sousa’s memoirs reveals the identity of the “gladiator,” but the first printing of the sheet music carried a dedication to Charles F. Towle of Boston. Towle was a journalist who was editor of the Boston Traveler at the time this march was written, but the nature of his association with Sousa is not known. The Gladiator was the first Sousa composition to reach such wide circulation. He himself was unaware of its popularity until its strains startled him one day while in Philadelphia on business, taking a stroll along Broad Street. (Source: United States Marine Band)

Original Works Written for the Concord Band

3/3/67William L. DygertFestive Trumpet
6/29/72Mark C. MudgettYellowstone March
12/8/73Dean M. GrovesThe Elements
2/16/73Christopher MorrisMusic for Winds
3/2/74Christopher MorrisDance Moment
7/17/75Norman Dello JoioSatiric Dances for a Comedy by Aristophanes
7/24/75Thelma Steinberg and Lew TobinConcord, Mass. and The Spirit of 1775
1/17/76William M. Toland and Mark MudgettAdaptations of Colonial Era Music
3/11/78Peter HazzardA Festival Overture
3/10/84Concord Band 25th Anniversary Concert
John BavicchiConcord Bridge
Richard CornellSolar Prominences
Peter HazzardSilver Jubilee Overture
Cheryl LinderConcord Band March
Kurt PhinneyConcertino for Alto Saxophone and Band
Robert SirotaConcord Suite
Douglas TolandPrelude, Fanfare and March
10/26/85William M. TolandConcord 350 March
3/7/87James E. CurnowFive Concord Diversions
3/7/87Peter HazzardToland's March
10/24/87William M. TolandPennyghael
10/22/88James E. CurnowWelsh Variants
4/7/89William M. TolandChiapanecas
10/27/90William M. TolandSuite for Woodwinds
10/26/91Warren BarkerTriumphant Entrance
12/9/94James E. CurnowOverture to a Winter Festival
3/4/95William M. TolandA Short Fanfare for a Happy Occasion
3/4/95William M. TolandSolstice
3/2/96Thomas J. McGahReflections of Emerson
6/26/97William G. McManusFanfare #1
11/1/97Daniel P. LutzDichotomy...Impressions of Kerouac
7/22/98Irving SandersonPeace Treaty March
11/7/98Thomas J. McGahSunsets
3/6/99Stephen BullaNorth Bridge Portrait
6/24/99William G. McManusFanfare ‘99
3/8/03Julie GirouxBoston Liberties
10/28/06Elliot Del BorgoIsraeli Triptych
12/12/08William G. McManusBallad for Boots
3/14/09Concord Band 50th Anniversary Concert
Roger CichyFlowing Pens from Concord
6/30/10William G. McManusFruitlands 25 Fanfare
6/30/10William G. McManusFruitlands 25 Overture
3/5/11Andrew Boysen, Jr.Twilight of the Gods (consortium)
10/27/12William G. McManusElegy
12/7/12Rene Pfister and Jan MankowskiChristmas Eve
4/12/13William G. McManusBlue Sterling: Theme for Jerry
3/2/19Concord Band 60th Anniversary Concert
Roger CichyEmblazoned Joy
Andrew Boysen, Jr.Diamond Jubilee Suite

Spotlight: Andrew Boysen, Jr.

Andrew Boysen Jr.
Andrew Boysen, Jr. (b. 1968) is presently a professor in the music department at the University of New Hampshire, where he conducts the wind symphony and teaches con- ducting, composition and orchestra- tion. Previously, Boysen served as an assistant professor and Acting Asso- ciate Director of Bands at Indiana State University, where he directed the Marching Sycamores, conducted the symphonic band and taught in the music education department. Prior to that appointment, he was the Direc- tor of Bands at Cary-Grove (IL) High School and was the Music Director and Conductor of the Deer- field Community Concert Band. He remains active as a guest conduc- tor and clinician, appearing with high school, university and festival ensembles across the United States, Great Britain, and Australia.

Boysen earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Con- ducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he served as Conduc- tor of the Eastman Wind Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He received his Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from Northwestern University in 1993 and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Music Composi- tion from the University of Iowa in 1991.

He maintains an active schedule as a composer, having received commissions from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, the Iowa All-State Band, the Rhode Island All-State Band, the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, and many university and high school con- cert bands across the United States. Boysen won the International Horn Society Composition Contest in 2000, the University of Iowa Honors Composition Prize in 1991 and has twice won the Claude T. Smith Memorial Band Composition Contest, in 1991 and 1994. Boy- sen has several published works with the Neil A. Kjos Music Com- pany, Wingert-Jones Music, Masters Music, and C. Alan Publica- tions, including pieces for band, orchestra, clarinet and piano, and brass choir.

Spotlight: Roger Cichy

Roger Cichy
Composer and Conductor
Since the appearance of his first published work in 1985, Roger Cichy has been a prolific composer whose works often paint experiences and emotions on a canvas of sound. The composer’s works contain a number of signature elements, among them is his unique use of rhythm and pronounced use of percussion. In many of his works, Cichy employs what he calls “compelling rhythms,” whose repetition drive his melodies forward. His appreciation for percussion’s unlimited sounds and timbres is also notable. Cichy’s work is further defined by his fondness for jazz rhythms, liberal use of strong countermelodies, and thick harmonic texture.

Roger Cichy brings his background as a music educator to his work as a composer. Roger holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Music Education degree from The Ohio State University, but also did extensive study in composition with Edward Montgomery, Marshall Barnes and Joseph Levey at Ohio State. He has directed concert bands and marching bands at the elementary, high school and college levels, serving as Director of Bands at both the University of Rhode Island and Iowa State University.

Today, Roger is a freelance composer and arranger, writing for high school, university and professional bands, professional orchestras, and the commercial music industry. His works range from small ensembles literature to compositions and arrangements for marching band, concert band, and symphonic orchestra. He has over 300 compositions and arrangements to his name, including those published by Daehn Publications, C. Alan Publications, and Ludwig Masters Publications. Cichy’s music has been recorded by premier ensembles such as the North Texas Wind Symphony, the United States Air Force Academy Band and the University of Georgia Wind Symphony. He has received numerous composition awards from The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) for serious music.

Composing music for a wide variety of genres including orchestras, choruses, wind bands, small ensembles and music for film, Cichy is widely sought for commissions. The music of Roger Cichy is continually being performed throughout the United State and abroad.

His works have been performed at many prestigious conventions including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, CBDNA National and Regional Conventions, ASBDA Conventions, MENC National and Regional Conventions, several All-State Festivals and appear on many contest lists throughout the country. In 2008, Mark Masters released a CD recording of Cichy’s music titled Sounds Sketches and Ideas, which received Grammy listings in three categories. His film score for the PBS documentary The American St. Nick earned him an Emmy.

Spotlight: Dr William McManus

Dr William G McManus
Music Director Emeritus
Dr. William McManus was Music Director of the Concord Band from 1995 to 2009. Upon his retirement, he was named Music Director Emeritus.

Dr McManus was Associate Professor of Music Education at Boston University from 2003-2008,and Chair of the Music Education Department from 2005 until 2008. Prior to joining Boston University, he taught at New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and Fitchburg State College, and served on the National Executive Board and as Eastern Division President of MENC (The National Association for Music Education), and as President, All State Concert Chair, Professor Programs Director, and Research Chair of MMEA (Massachusetts Music Educators Association).

A graduate of The Boston Conservatory and Boston University, Dr. McManus taught music in Leicester (MA) and Westborough (MA), and was Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Belmont Public Schools from 1984 until 2001.

In 1995, the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) awarded Dr McManus the MMEA Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious award presented by that organization. He has also been awarded a Lowell Mason Award and Visionary Leadership Award by the MMEA. In 2008. Dr McManus was honored by the Boston University College of Fine Arts as the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.

An active conductor, Dr McManus was Music Director of the Concord Band from 1995 – 2008. He has been conductor of the 215th Army Band, the Framingham Concert Band, and the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble. He has appeared as guest conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, The United States Youth Wind Ensemble, the Boston University Concert Band, and he has conducted many All-District and All State Bands.

In recent years, Dr McManus has concentrated on arranging music for concert band and jazz ensemble and composing original music for symphonic band and various chamber groups. Recent compositions for symphonic band include Fruitlands Overture (2010), Elegy (2012), and Blue Sterling (2013).

Friday, February 22, 2019

Diamond Jubilee Suite

Andrew Boysen
Diamond Jubilee Suite was commissioned by the Concord Band (Massachusetts), James O’Dell, Music Director, to celebrate the Concord Band’s 60th anniversary. The suite follows traditional form, consisting of three movements (March, Song, and Finale) and using the motivic cell of C-B-A (for Concord Band Association) as formative and thematic material. The three notes that make up this set also form the key centers for each of the piece’s three movements (I is in C major, II is in B♭ major, and III is in A♭ major/whole tone). Each of the three movements also pay homage to one of the band’s three conductors and one of the band’s three main functions throughout its history and each movement is also slightly more difficult than the previous movement, reflecting the continued and consistent growth in the musicianship of the band.

The first movement, “March,” is dedicated to William Toland, the first director of the Concord Band. He was a percussionist, thus the first instrument heard in the movement is an off-stage snare drum. This movement is also intended to reflect one of the earliest functions of the band, marching in town and regional parades. It is in the form of a patrol, intended to suggest the approach, passing by, and recession of the band in an actual parade. The movement begins with an off-stage snare drum and then an off-stage piccolo, indicative of the fife and drum music that traces itself to the roots of Concord’s history in the Revolutionary War. The first three notes of the first strain as well as the beginning of the trio are the descending tri-chord that is the main motive for the piece.

The second movement, “Song,” is dedicated to William McManus, the second director of the Concord Band. He was a saxophone player, so the first instrument heard in this movement is an alto saxophone soloist playing the main melody for the movement. One of the main functions of the Concord Band has been to play a series of outdoor summer concerts that feature lighter and more popular music. Mr. McManus was also the conductor who worked hard to bring more popular music into the band’s repertoire. This is reflected in the movement through traditional song form (AABA) presented twice and sandwiching a lighter and more playful middle section. The pitch material for the movement takes the main tri-chord and adds a chordal fifth to it, creating a more “popular music” sound through what is usually referred to as an added ninth chord. Finally, this movement pays homage to the three important composers who wrote suites for band which form the cornerstones of our repertoire. The alto saxophone solo at the beginning is an additional reference to the second movement of Gordon Jacob’s Original Suite, the climax and conclusion of the exterior sections are obvious references to the second movement of Gustav Holst’s Suite in F, and the faster interior section is an homage to the second movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s English Folk Song Suite.

The third movement, “Finale,” is dedicated to the band’s third (and present) conductor, James O’Dell. He is a tuba player, so the opening solo this time is on that instrument. This movement is intended to reflect the band’s more serious, indoor concerts in which they have gradually approached more and more challenging musical works, especially under the leadership of Mr. O’Dell. Therefore, this movement takes the basic tri-chord and expands it to become a full whole tone scale for parts of the movement. It also uses a technique called bitonality, where sections of the ensemble are playing different chords at the same time. The movement is in ABAB form with a short coda at the end. The A sections are based entirely on the opening tuba phrase, with the melodic material simply being an augmented version of the energetic bass line. The first B section recalls the trio melody from the first movement and the second B section recalls the main melody of the second movement, thereby connecting each of these movements to each other. The climax of the work arrives with a final, decisive C-B♭-A♭ statement in the brass. There is a moment of silence and then the three soloists/conductors (snare drum, alto saxophone, tuba) combine to lead the ensemble into a final celebratory phrase.

—Andrew Boysen

Friday, February 15, 2019

Emblazoned Joy

Roger Cichy
Milestones are milestones and although sixty years of the Concord Band’s existence may not seem so long in terms of community bands on average, it’s sixty years of high activity, great music making and creative productivity. Luckily, this fine organization’s initials are C-B-A (standing for the Concord Band Association), but to the composer’s delight, musical notes. So it is appropriate and fitting to emblazon those three notes throughout the fanfare and mark another significant milestone for a musical organization that brings so much joy to its members, and joy to its many audiences. And as uplifting and entertaining as the Concord Band is in its music making, it was in the mind of the composer to capture this by creating a short melodic logo, a sort of musical trademark, for the Concord Band, which is first heard during the announcement section of the fanfare, then fully scored for the final statement of the piece. This fanfare pushes the limits on its scale source by incorporating a raised fourth, just as the Concord Band pushes the limits on what is possible with a community band. —Roger Cichy

The Concord Band 60th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, March 2, 2019 • 8 PM

Join the Concord Band as it continues to celebrate 60 years of music-making with an anniversary concert at 51 W a/den, the Performing Arts Center in Concord, MA, 9 on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 8:00 PM. The Band will perform several significant works commissioned by the Band, two world premieres, and some of the greatest music composed for symphonic concert band. Admission is free, however tickets must be reserved in advance at Contributions received at GoFundMe or at the door are greatly appreciated.

Roger Cichy
Two new commissions will take center stage at the March concert, both penned by prolific New England composers. Emblazoned Joy, by Rhode Island composer Roger Cichy, incorporates the notes C-B-A (Concord Band Association) as motivic elements which all sections of the Band get to play at some point during this robust and lively fanfare.

Andrew Boysen
New Hampshire composer Andrew Boysen Jr. wrote Diamond Jubilee Suite following traditional form, consisting of three movements (March, Song, and Finale), also using the motivic cell of C-B-A as formative and thematic material. The three notes that make up this set also form the key centers for each of the piece's three movements (I is in C major, II is in Bb major, and III is in Ab major/whole tone). Each of the three movements also pays homage to one of the band's three Music Directors and one of the band's three main functions throughout its history. Each movement is also slightly more difficult than the previous movement, reflecting the continued and consistent growth in the musicianship of the band.

Abracadabra by Frank Ticheli is a magical piece, full of fun and fantasy with the majority of the composition being crafted from the opening main theme, traversing abrupt and recurring "magically" exciting events.

James Curnow
One of the Concord Band's many commissions, James Curnow's Five Concord Diversions, was written in 1987 in commemoration of William Toland's 25th year as Music Director of the Concord Band. The work is brilliantly scored for brass quintet and band with the outer movements featuring brass quintet and the tutti ensemble, while the inner three movements feature the brass quintet paired with woodwinds, percussion, and brass respectively.

Alfred Reed's Festival Prelude "was conceived specifically in terms of its title as an opening kind of piece ... the music was to establish a bright and brilliant mood throughout, with no other connotation in mind." Two fanfare-like motifs and a main theme occur throughout the composition using the brass and woodwinds separately and combined to impart tone color and majesty. Conducting the work will be Concord Band Music Director Emeritus Dr. William G. McManus.

Two extraordinary marches are featured on the program. Valdres March by Johannes Hanssen "is one of the most famous marches ever composed and is evocative and expressive of Norway, its land of birth. The opening tune is played by the comet and is a bugle call from the Valdres Battalion. The second subject is an old tune for hardanger fiddle. The trio is a pentatonic tune based upon Norwegian folk music." Also featured at the Band's 25th Anniversary concert, The Gladiator March by John Philip Sousa is considered to be the composer's first successful march and received many public performances. It sold more than one million copies.

Flourish for Wind Band by English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams is a masterfully elegant, transparent, and seemingly simple fanfare written in 1939 as an opening celebratory performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

William Toland's arrangement of Auld Lang Syne rounds out the program paying homage to the spirit of the Concord Band, the many audiences that have enjoyed the concert performances, and the members themselves, who have valued and enjoyed lifelong music-making.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

60th Anniversary Gala Concert

Photo: Winston Martin
The Concord Band will celebrate its 60th anniversary at a gala concert at 8:00 pm on March 2, 2019 at 51 Walden Street in Concord, led by Music Director James O'Dell. The Band has commissioned two new pieces for band that will be presented in their world premier performances, conducted by the composers themselves. Music Director Emeritus William McManus will also conduct.

The concert is free with donations appreciated, but because of the anticipated interest in the concert, all tickets must be reserved in advance at At this time, only about 100 tickets are available, so those who would like to attend this concert should make their requests as soon as possible.

Andrew Boysen of the University of New Hampshire has been commissioned to write a piece he has titled Diamond Jubilee Suite. The three movements are intended to represent the character and musical impact of the three music directors of the Concord Band: the late Music Director Laureate, William Toland, Music Director Emeritus McManus, and current Music Director James O’Dell.

Roger Cichy, who composed a piece for the Band’s 50th anniversary season, returns with a commissioned fanfare entitled Emblazoned Joy.

Other works on the celebration program include Alfred Reed’s A Festival Prelude, conducted by William McManus; and Five Concord Diversions, by James Curnow, commissioned for William Toland’s 25th anniversary with the Band, featuring a Concord Band brass quintet. The concert will close with Toland’s arrangement of Auld Lang Syne, during which Concord Band alumni in the audience will be invited to join in the performance.

Formed in 1959 as a marching band for the Patriots’ Day parade, the Concord Band became exclusively a symphonic concert band in 1970. The Band has commissioned or inspired more than 80 works for symphonic band.

 The Concord Band is supported by grants from the Town of Concord and Town of Bolton Cultural Councils, and the March 2 concert is sponsored in part by Middlesex Savings Bank. More information about the Band and the March 2 concert can be found at the Band’s Facebook page and website The Band is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gladly accepts any donations to help fund the costs of the 60th anniversary season on the website or at

Friday, January 4, 2019

Remembering Alfred Reed

Dr. William G. McManus
Music Director Emeritus
By Dr. William G. McManus

Bill McManus was the second Music Director of the Concord Band, serving in that position from 1995 to 2009. Upon his retirement from the Band, he was named Music Director Emeritus. Dr. McManus has been an extremely successful and much revered musician and music educator.

Alfred Reed’s music has been a part of The Concord Band’s long legacy of performing outstanding classics of the concert band repertoire. It will be my honor to conduct Alfred Reed’s A Festival Prelude at The Concord Band’s Winter Concert on March 2, 2019, in celebration of the band’s 60th Anniversary Season. Dr. Alfred Reed is generally recognized as one of the most important composers of music for concert band and wind ensemble of the 20th Century. He published more than 250 compositions for band, orchestra, chorus, and chamber groups and is perhaps best know for composing many works that have become classics of the concert band repertoire. His compositions have been performed throughout the world.

Over the years, The Concord Band has performed many of Alfred Reed’s original compositions for concert band, including such classics as A Jubilant Overture (performed in 1970), A Festival Prelude (1984), A Symphonic Prelude (1984), Second Symphony (1979), Armenian Dances, Part 1 (1995), Russian Christmas Music (1995), El Camino Real (1997), and Hounds of Spring (2004). The Concord Band has also performed many of Reed’s great arrangements, including The Music Man (1974), Greensleeves (1978), Radetzky March (1998), and Finiculi, Finicula (1998). Alto saxophonists from The Concord Band, including the late Dr. Gerald Kriedberg, were frequently featured performing Reed’s great arrangement of Harlem Nocturne. One of Reed’s very last compositions for concert band was Music in the Air, which was played by The Concord Band at the 2006 Winter Concert in Alfred Reed’s memory.

Alfred Reed
I first met Alfred Reed in 1987 when he came to Boston to present a clinic of his music at a conference of the Eastern Division of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble was participating in the clinic with Dr. Reed and would be performing a number of Reed’s compositions in the clinic. Prior to the conference, Dr. William Silvester, the Director of The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble, contacted me and asked me if his wind ensemble could use the Belmont High School auditorium for a rehearsal with Dr. Reed the day before the conference in order to prepare for the clinic. I was delighted to accommodate this request and was able to have all of my Belmont High Band members excused from classes for the morning so that they could attend the rehearsal and meet Alfred Reed. This was especially timely since my band was currently learning one of Alfred’s pieces—Armenian Dances. What an experience this was for my students! Especially since Armenian Dances was one of the pieces that Alfred Reed was featuring in his clinic at the conference in Boston. My students were able to watch Alfred rehearse this piece with this wonderful wind ensemble.

Armenian Dances is an extremely challenging and exciting piece for concert band and one of my all-time favorite pieces for symphonic band. I rehearsed this piece with The Concord Band as part of my audition for the directorship of the band and then included Armenian Dances in my very first concert with The Concord Band at 51 Walden in the fall of 1995.

While it was an honor for me to meet Alfred Reed, it was also an honor for me to meet Dr. William Silvester, the conductor of The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble. This music group was one of the premiere college wind ensembles in the country. Dr. Silvester was also the conductor of The Eastern Wind Symphony, an adult symphonic band based in Trenton, New Jersey. Dr. Silvester and I became great friends and colleagues. We were honored to have Dr. Silvester as guest conductor of the Concord Band at the 2003 Winter Concert. I knew that Dr. Bill Silvester and Alfred Reed were very close friends, and in 2004 I asked Bill if he thought Alfred might consider a commission by The Concord Band. He suggested that I ask him myself and told me that Alfred would be visiting New Jersey to attend a recording session of his music by The Eastern Wind Symphony. I traveled to New Jersey and was able to enjoy a wonderful evening with Alfred and Bill. It was over dinner that Alfred leaned over to me and said, “I hear that you want me to compose a piece for The Concord Band.” He told me he would love to compose an original composition for the Band and we began a correspondence regarding the commission. Unfortunately, Alfred died in 2005 without having completed the composition. The day after his death I received the following email from his family:
Alfred Reed passed away yesterday afternoon, 17 September. His gift to the world is a body of music that will continue to thrill, charm and delight audiences in virtually every country of the world, as it has done for the last fifty years. His gift to those of us blessed to have known him was a kind and generous spirit that is all too rare.

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