Thursday, March 19, 2015

Announcing: Spring Pops! featuring Amanda Carr

Concord Band 2015 Spring Pops—Saturday, April 11, 8 p.m.

Please join us for an exuberant evening of music and celebration of Spring featuring award-winning jazz vocalist Amanda Carr. Tickets sell out early for this Concord treasure, now in its 39th year. Seating at “Pops-style” tables for 4 is available.

Tickets are $25 per adult, or $15 for child under 12.

Ordering tickets is easy. You may order tickets online, email Concord Band reservations, or phone us at (978) 897-9969.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rotary Club of Concord Spring Pops with the Concord Band

The Rotary's 39th Annual April Pops features the award-winning Concord Band with popular jazz vocalist Amanda Carr in a exuberant evening of music and fellowship. "Pops-style" table seating, snacks, and cash bar. Silent auction benefits Rotary's program to build wells in Kenya. Concord Carlisle Interact students will sell artwork to benefit their own safe water project in Africa. Tickets are $25 per person or $100 for a table of four. Admission proceeds benefit Rotary's community and international service projects. Consider yourself invited to this popular event. Help Rotary make a difference in the world.

Tickets: (508) 878-6577 or order tickets by email.

Guest Artist Amanda Carr performs with the Concord Band

from: Concord, MA Patch
Submitted by June Grace

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Concord Band Presents a Thought-Provoking Program

Submitted to the Concord Journal—On Saturday, March 7, I had the pleasure of attending the Concord Band’s “Portraits” concert with my family, including two fifth graders and a third grader. The band, under the direction of James O’Dell, played a series of pieces that honored particular historical figures, beginning with Jack Kerouac. Dichotomy…Impressions of Kerouac began with a presentation of “Frere Jacques,” which then morphed into a 7/8 meter using fuller instrumentation, and the minor mode. This effect seems very popular with band composers lately: presenting a theme in one meter, and changing it to a modern, percussion-heavy setting with complicated rhythms. The swell of the final section evoked the impression of water, and one memorable moment was Judy Piermarini’s beautiful tenor saxophone solo.

One highlight of the program was A Movement for Rosa by Mark Camphouse, who created a piece in honor of Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks. Jim O’Dell explained to the audience ahead of time that the music is intense, that it was designed to illustrate the challenges faced by Rosa Parks during her lifetime, and also the dignity and beauty of her character. Beginning with a single flute, the music builds emotionally and uncomfortably. At the end of the piece, we hear a stunning harmonic presentation of the unattributed American song “We Shall Overcome,” followed by an unsettling final chord with dissonance that reminds us all: We are not there yet.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 Winter Concert


The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Steven Barbas, Assistant Conductor
Jordan Rich, Narrator


Dichotomy ... Impressions of KerouacDaniel P. Lutz
Concord Band Commission (1997)
Symphony for Band No. 4 (West Point)Morton Gould
  1. Marches
A Movement for RosaMark Camphouse


Lincoln PortraitAaron Copland; trans. Walter Beeler
Jordan Rich, narrator
Of Sailors and WhalesW. Francis McBeth
Jordan Rich, narrator
  1. Ishmael
  2. Queequeg
  3. Father Mapple
  4. Ahab
  5. The White Whale
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.

Read all notes for this program...

Of Sailors and Whales

Of Sailors and Whales (Five Scenes from Melville) by W. Francis McBeth is a tone poem based on five scenes from the great American novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Melville’s story depicts the life of the sailor Ishmael as he boards the whaling boat the Pequod. The novel was influenced by real events of first mate Owen Chase on the Nantucket, Massachusetts whaling ship, the Essex, which was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean in 1820. Of Sailors and Whales was commissioned by and is dedicated to the California Band Directors Association, Inc., and was premiered in February 1990 by the California All-State Band, conducted by Francis McBeth. The work is subdedicated to Robert Lanon White, Commander USN (Ret.). Dr. W. Francis McBeth, who was born in March, 1933, in Lubbock, Texas, and passed away in January, 2012, was Professor of Music Emeritus at Ouachita University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. (Source: Kimberly Williams)

Lincoln Portrait

During World War II, well known and respected conductor Andre Kostelanetz embarked on a series of concert programs promoting American music. Among the American composers commissioned to express the “magnificent spirit of our country” were William Schuman, Ferde Grofé, and Aaron Copland. Lincoln Portrait is Copland’s magnificent musical portrait of Abraham Lincoln, originally scored for orchestra in 1943, and transcribed for concert band by Walter Beeler in 1951. The opening simple, transparent, and solemn statements slowly unfold through a series of sequences arriving at the second expressive, and sentimental theme. Following a closing section between solo cornet and French horn, the work immediately transitions tempo (Subito Allegro), where the opening theme, Springfield Mountain, is developed, along with that of Camptown Races. After a lengthy instrumental romp, a slow unwinding of the tempo leads to the introduction of narration and quotes from the Gettysburg Address. The text is interwoven with the melodic material in a series of dramatic, contrasting, melancholy, and often spring-like and simplistic musical episodes, culminating in the final words of Lincoln’s historic address. The work is one of the earliest written for large ensemble and narrator. (Source: James Robert O’Dell)

A Movement for Rosa

A Movement for Rosa by Mark Camphouse was commissioned by the Florida Bandmasters Association and honors civil rights heroine Rosa Parks. A single movement—a quasi tone poem—contains three contrasting sections. Section I evokes Rosa’s early years, from her birth on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, through her marriage in 1932 to Raymond Parks in Pine Level, Alabama. Section II portrays years of racial strife in Montgomery and the quest for social equality. The third section is one of quiet strength and serenity. The hymn, "We Shall Overcome," foreshadowed in Sections I and II by motivic fragmentation, is heard in its entirety near the end. The work’s final measures serve as an ominous reminder of racism’s lingering presence in modern American society. (Source: TRN Music Publisher)

Symphony for Band No. 4 (West Point)

Morton Gould composed many works for symphonic band, but his Symphony for Band No. 4 (West Point) is widely considered one of the earliest symphonies composed for modern concert band. The work was written for and performed at the West Point US Military Academy’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1952. The second movement, “Marches”, opens with a whimsical clarinet motif punctuated with cymbal and bass drum, a signal of what lies ahead with the upcoming call and response between winds and percussion. The first syncopated march theme is introduced by the flutes and oboes and soon developed through rapid-fire sixteenth note passages in each instrument section. The cleverly assembled development section combines martial flavored thematic material punctuated with presto rhythmic passages and contrasting legato musical material. Ending with a skillfully crafted fugue, the first march segues to the second march theme in 6/8 time, gradually pressing forward with faster and faster tempo to a very exciting finale. (Source: James Robert O’Dell)

Dichotomy... Impressions of Kerouac

Daniel P. Lutz
Concord Band Commission (1997)

Dichotomy…Impressions of Kerouac is a work for winds and percussion inspired by impressions of the American writer and poet, Jack Kerouac. The piece was commissioned by the Concord Band in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the writing of the novel On The Road, considered the defining work of the Beat Generation, as well as the 75th anniversary of Kerouac’s birth. Dichotomy is intended to be a non-verbal, musical interpretation of a man who inspired a generation. The idea of a “dichotomy,” or the two sides of the man, was spurred by the apparent co-existence of the radical and the traditional in Kerouac’s writings and life, from the extraordinarily structured environment and mores of immigrant French-Canadian Catholic beginnings to the almost surreal rebellious wanderings and amoral experimentation of the Beat Generation. Incorporated in this musical interpretation are elements of chance music or free improvisation within a highly structured musical form; the use of traditional/highly consonant folk melodies juxtaposed amongst dissonant experimental musical ideas … all revealing contrasting moods and emotions much like the composer’s overriding impression of the man who once described himself as a “strange solitary crazy Catholic mystic,” Jack Kerouac. (Source: Daniel P. Lutz)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Press Release: Jordan Rich to Appear with Concord Band

courtesy photo
Jordan Rich
Posted on Concord Wicked Local on Feb. 23, 2015 at 4:21 PM 

Boston radio personality Jordan Rich, of WBZ, will join the Concord Band for its Winter Concert at 8 p.m. March 7 at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord. The theme is “Portraits,” and Rich will narrate Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and W. Francis McBeth’s “Of Sailors and Whales,” a portrait of various characters from Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick.” Rich is a Boston radio veteran, having worked in the market for 36 years.

The band is excited about this collaboration, which is sponsored in part by a grant from the Concord Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

From 1996 to the present, Rich has hosted an all-night radio show on WBZ-AM 1030. At WBZ, he has interviewed thousands of authors, actors, athletes, historians, artists and scientists. Those included Concord Band music director Jim O’Dell and music director emeritus Bill McManus, who had an extended interview together on Rich’s program at the time of the band’s 50th anniversary and McManus’ transition to O’Dell in 2009.

They discussed community bands and the importance of the arts. In 2013, following the Concord Band’s Holiday Pops concert in the snow, O’Dell called in to Rich’s program on his way home and discussed the concert as well as the weather. When Jim later asked Rich if he would like to narrate “Lincoln Portrait,” Rich said that he was honored to be asked and that he had always wanted to narrate the Copland piece.

Copland wrote “Lincoln Portrait” in 1943 as part of a series of commissions and concert programs organized and led by conductor Andre Kostelanetz to promote American music. The Copland piece, which features words taken from various Lincoln speeches, is one of the earliest pieces written for large ensemble and narrator, and was transcribed in 1951 for band by Walter Beeler.

Each of the five movements of McBeth’s “Moby Dick” portrait for band begins with a quotation from Melville’s novel that Jordan Rich will read. It then offers an evocative musical portrait of that scene. The five movements (scenes) are Ishmael, Queequeg, Father Mapple, Ahab and The White Whale. This work is both intense and lyrical and includes nearly the entire band singing a hymn in the Father Mapple movement.

Other musical portraits chosen by music director Jim O’Dell, all written for band, include Marches from the Symphony No. 4 (West Point) of Morton Gould; "A Movement for Rosa," by Mark Camphouse, honoring the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks; and “Dichotomy... Impressions of Kerouac," written for the Concord Band in 1997 by University of Massachusetts/Lowell Director of University Bands Daniel Lutz.

Gould wrote the West Point Symphony in 1952 for the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Military Academy, where he conducted the premiere with the Academy Band. Dan Lutz composed "Dichotomy" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the writing of Kerouac’s novel “On The Road,” as well as the 75th anniversary of Kerouac’s birth. This Concord Band commission was also supported by the Lowell Cultural Council.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For information and reservations: