Sunday, October 1, 2000

Trivial? Not Entirely!

Do you enjoy the pursuit of trivia? Here's a draft of the Concord Band trivia card deck. Answers (and best guesses) are at the end of this article.

  1. Which composer's music has been played most often by the Concord Band?
  2. How many members were in the Concord Band in its first year?
  3. How many pieces of music does the Concord Band play in a typical year?
  4. How many pieces has the Concord Band played since it was formed in 1959?
  5. How many times has the Concord Band played Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever?
  6. When did the Concord Band play its first commissioned piece of music?
  7. How many pieces have been premiered by the Concord Band?
  8. When did the Concord Band make its first distributed recording?
  9. How many discs has the Concord Band recorded?
  10. What was the artist doing while designing the Concord Band's logo?
  11. In what year did the Concord Band cease marching and become a strictly concert organization?
  12. What is the greatest distance a member of the Concord Band travels from home each week to rehearse at 51 Walden?
  13. How many people have visited the Concord Band Web Site?
  14. How many professional video recordings have been made of the Concord Band?
  15. How many concerts has the Concord Band played at its summer home at Fruitlands Museums in Harvard?
  16. How many copies of the Concord Band's first CD, A Winter Festival, have been sold?
  17. When did these trivial items first appear in print (in a concert program)? Here's one last not-so-trivial item:
  18. How many individuals and businesses contribute funds to the Concord Band in a typical year? (Hint: Not enough!) To increase this number, and help the Band financially, please write a check for as much as you can afford and return it in the enclosed envelope. If you have no return envelope, simply send your check to the address at the top of this newsletter.

Answers to Concord Band Trivia Questions

(1) John Philip Sousa (2) 47 (3) 85-100 (4) more than 1,200 (5) about 175 (6) July 7, 1975 (7) more than 50 (8) 1975 (9) 5: 4 vinyl LP, 1 CD (10) Artist Walter Tymula was watching a Boston Bruins hockey game (11) 1970 (12) 92 miles [from Mashpee] (13) more than 6,500 (14) 3 (15) 65 (16) about 350 [still some available for you to buy!] (17) March, 1999 (18) fewer than 200.

Saturday, September 30, 2000

Band to Premier Work by Thomas J. McGah

Thomas J. McGah
The Concord Band will be presenting the world premier of Boston composer Thomas J. McGah's newest work for concert Band, Suite of Irish Folksongs, at its upcoming fall Concert on October 28th. This suite is a five movement work based on Irish folksongs, some well known, others much less so. The five songs are "The Kerry Dance," "Cockles and Mussels," "O'Donnell Aboo!," "My Lagan Love," and "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye." In 1996, the Concord Band commissioned McGah to compose a work for narrator and band titled Reflections of Emerson which was premiered by the band at 51 Walden in Concord on March 2, 1996 with Peter Ross as narrator. The band also performed this work at the 1996 Boston Festival of Bands. In 1998, McGah was commissioned to compose Sunsets for soprano and band in memory of Carol Burdine, daughter of Bill and Nancy Burdine. This work was premiered at 51 Walden on November 7, 1998 with Donna Kearney as soprano soloist.

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Tuba Virtuoso Kenneth Amis to Perform

Guest Artist Ken Amis
In keeping with its long tradition of presenting outstanding guest soloists, the Concord Band is proud to feature tuba virtuoso Ken Amis at its Winter Concert on March 4th. Mr. Amis was born and raised in Bermuda. He began playing the piano at a young age and upon entering high school took up the tuba and developed an interest in performing and composing music. A Suite for Bass Tuba, composed when he was 15, marked his first published work. A year later, at age 16, he enrolled in Boston University where he majored in composition. After graduating from Boston University, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music where he earned a Masters Degree in composition.

Mr. Amis has been commissioned to write for the annual Cohen Wing opening at Symphony Hall in Boston, the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductors Association, the Belmont High School Symphonic Band, the Gardener High School Band, the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and the College Band Directors National Association. Ken has composed a number of works for band including The Reckoning, Sinfonia Concertante, Grenadiers of Liberty, The Playground Ball, and Rondo alla Kolo.

As a tuba player, Mr. Amis has performed as a soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra and has been a member of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra and the New World Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the faculties of Boston University, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Pacific Music festival in Japan. Ken is presently the tuba player of the Empire Brass and occupies the International Brass Chair at the Royal Academy of Music in London.