Monday, December 19, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holiday Pops! Concerts are Coming to Town

Holiday Pops! 2016 Poster
Now is the time to make your reservations for the Concord Band’s annual Holiday Pops concerts, to be held at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord on December 9th and 10th at 8:00 PM. There’s no better way to begin the holiday season than to enjoy an evening of great music and fun in the festive 51 Walden holiday atmosphere!

The Concord Band's Holiday Pops concerts have become a popular tradition. This year's program includes new music, as well as many favorites and a little something for everyone.

These concerts sell out early, so order your tickets as soon as possible. Adult seats are $25 each; seats for children (under 12) are $15 each. Seating is at Tables for 4 (a few tables for more than 4 are available on the drama stage). The tables are set up "Pops"-style, with complimentary snacks and beverages provided.

The musical program includes:
  • Overture to a Winter Festival, by James Curnow
  • Suite on Celtic Folk Songs, by Tomohiro Tatebe
  • Rhapsody for Hanukkah, by Stephen Bulla
  • Home for Christmas, arr. by John Higgins
  • Heaven's Light, by Steven Reineke
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince Guaraldi; arr. by Carl Strommen
  • Bugler's Holiday, by Leroy Anderson, transcr. by Michael Edwards
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), by Mel Torme & Bob Wells; arr. by John Higgins
  • Sleigh Ride, by Leroy Anderson; arr. by Michael Story
  • Auld Lang Syne, trad.; arr. by William Toland
  • Great Songs of Christmas (sing-a-long), arr. by Bob Lowden
Tickets may be reserved by phone at (978) 897-9969 or by email at: To pay by credit card, visit Placing orders online allows you to select your table. Ticket orders and payment must be received by Nov. 25. Mailed tickets will be sent approximately 2 weeks before the concert. Tickets can be held at the door or mailed to your address; if you prefer tickets to be mailed to you, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: The Concord Band, P.O. Box 302, Concord, MA 01742.

Snow date for this concert is Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 PM. (Call 978-897-9969 after 4 PM on day of concert in case of inclement weather.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Concord Band Performs to Nearly Full House

Review by Grant Anderson

To a nearly full house on October 22, the Concord Band gave a very musical and unusual concert at 51 Walden in Concord center. Musical because of the skill of the band’s Music Director Jim O’Dell and the band’s many skilled musicians. Unusual because the marches were both embedded within larger compositions: the Third Suite of Robert Jager and the Suite on Celtic Folk Songs of Tomohiro Tatebe. I missed Sousa, but these two movements tapped my feet and tickled my ears—including the unmistakable bagpipe sounds in the Celtic march.

The concert started with Boston Liberties, a band commission from 2002. Many band members were featured here by composer Julie Giroux—especially Ken Troup on orchestra bells, Carol Messina on trumpet, David Southard on alto sax, and Dave Purinton on clarinet. The entire brass section really bounced in the final movement, "A Penny a Ton."

David Purinton
Being a clarinet player myself, von Weber’s Clarinet Concertino was my favorite of the program. That’s biased, isn’t it? Dave Purinton bravely attacked and performed this difficult solo piece. I admire him for that. Bravo, Dave: lyrical and musical playing throughout.

Dan Diamond
The night’s second soloist was Dan Diamond, on snare drum in Ravel’s Boléro. Ravel once said that his Boléro theme has an “insistent quality,” and Dan’s snare drum emphasized that insistence. Dan’s forty-seven years in the band have not reduced his percussion stamina, that’s for sure. Bravo, Dan. In addition to Dan’s overarching snare, the whole composition was beautifully played by the full band, especially the solo licks that start it out and the rousing full-band conclusion.

La Fiesta Mexicana of H. Owen Reed was another audience favorite. The entire percussion section played with full confidence to start the composition’s "Prelude and Aztec Dance." The joint solo by bass and contra-bass clarinets had a chilling and throaty blend to it. Cam Owen performed well on French horn in the "Mass" section, while the "Carnival" section was bouncy, syncopated and fun.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall Concert 2016

Suite Spots

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director

Boston LibertiesJulie Giroux
  1. Boston Harbor
  2. Facts Are Stubborn Things
  3. Granary Grounds
  4. A Penny a Ton
Concertino, Opus 26Carl Maria von Weber;
arr. Reed; ed. McCathren
David Purinton, clarinet soloist
La Fiesta MexicanaH. Owen Reed
  1. Prelude and Aztec Dance
  2. Mass
  3. Carnival
DanzonLeonard Bernstein;
arr. Krance
Third SuiteRobert E. Jager
  1. March
  2. Waltz
  3. Rondo
BoléroMaurice Ravel;
arr. Bocook
Dan Diamond, snare drum soloist
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas TallisRalph Vaughan Williams;
arr. Bocook
Suite on Celtic Folk SongsTomohiro Tatebe
  1. March
  2. Air
  3. Reel
View all notes for this program...

Boston Liberties

Boston Liberties was commissioned by the Concord Band in 2002. Composer Julie Giroux wrote this four movement work in recognition of Boston as the maritime center of America in Colonial days. The first movement, “Boston Harbor,” is set in a traditional seafaring, swashbuckling style with a “touch of the Irish.” The second movement, “Facts are Stubborn Things,” is based on a quote from a speech John Adams made to a jury in Boston while defending the British soldiers involved in “The Boston Massacre.” The third movement is Julie Giroux’s personal reflection of her own time spent wandering on the grounds of historical cemeteries and wondering about the lives of the people buried there. The final movement depicts the mishaps, fires, fog cannon, explosions, ship horns, and other noises of Boston Harbor and the rebuilding and constant operation of the Boston Lighthouse. (Source: published score)

Concertino for Clarinet

Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino, Opus 26, was first performed in 1811 and is one of the great works that make up the vast clarinet repertoire. Transcribed for band by noted arranger and composer Alfred Reed, the single-movement work features principal clarinetist and long-tenured Band member David Purinton. After a slow and “cantabile” (in a singing style) introduction, the main theme is simply stated and traverses a series of distinct, virtuosic, and complementary variations. (Source: JRO)

La Fiesta Mexicana

H. Owen Reed has subtitled La Fiesta Mexicana “A Mexican Folk Song Symphony in Three Movements”: Prelude and Aztec Dance, Mass, and Carnival. Each movement vividly portrays the elements that comprise the Mexican Fiesta. As Reed explains, “The Mexican ‘Fiesta,’ which is an integral part of the social structure, is a study in contrasts: it is both serious and comical, festive and solemn, devout and pagan, boisterous and tender. (Source: published score)


Danzon (from the ballet “Fancy Free”) was commissioned and premiered by the American Ballet Theater in 1944 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. It is Leonard Bernstein’s spotlight on this dance in which the three sailors attempt to outdo each other, performing for an audience of beautiful girls while on shore leave. The dance is packed full of emotion and passion, set in a Latin-American style. (Source: published score)

Third Suite

In Third Suite by Robert Jager, the first movement is a march which is altered rhythmically by the use of alternating meter signatures. The second movement is a waltz which continues the mixed meter alteration idea and features oboe, flutes, bassoon, and brass sections. The Rondo is full of fun and bright tunes, which are developed near the end, followed by a quick coda stating the main theme once again. (Source: Band Music Notes/Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire)


Boléro is one of Maurice Ravel’s most recognized works and is based on the musical form and Spanish dance of the same name. With a repeating and insistent ostinato and snare drum accompaniment, the piece features percussionist Dan Diamond (the Band’s longest serving member), as well as solos for clarinet, flute, and trumpet. A subtle and slow forward momentum builds from the beginning piano to fortissimo, all the time adding variations in instrumentation. The final climax brings all musical forces to bear as the work crescendos to a dynamic conclusion. (Source: JRO)

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Ralph Vaughan Williams was a contemporary of Gustav Holst, and, with him and a few others, penned many of the works that make up the standard canon of works written specifically for band in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis has been superbly arranged by Jay Bocook to capture and retain the sostenuto, expansive style, simple beauty and mood of the original orchestral setting. (Source: JRO)

Suite on Celtic Folk Songs

Composer and arranger of Suite on Celtic Folk Songs, Tomohiro Tatebe, writes “Celtic ancestors, after conquering agrarian cultures in middle Europe, migrated to Ireland and other places. The so-called ‘Celt’ culture was a blend of those migrants and indigenous peoples of the northern island. This suite for wind band consists of three Old Irish melodies handed down through the generations. The ‘March’ is led by a characteristically accented drum; the beautiful and nostalgic ‘Air’ features the piccolo presenting the image of a simple fife; and the ‘Reel’ is a typical Irish dance of very quick tempo.” (Source: published score)

Dan Diamond, Percussion Soloist

Dan Diamond
Dan Diamond joined the Concord Band 47 years ago, and is still having fun as its senior member. He has been enamored of the snare drum since 1953 and has worked to improve his skills since 1958, when Springfield Symphony percussionist Warren Myers told him that his roll sounded like a bushel of apples falling down a flight of stairs. He has an SB and PhD from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and cofounded Harvard Software and Facsimilies, Ltd. In retirement Dan spends most of his time doing the kinds of things that earned him the Band’s Lifetime Service Award in 2009. Since January, he has been designing the Dream Center for the Performing Arts and has found the life of an amateur architect most agreeable.

David Purinton, Clarinet Soloist

David Purinton
David likes to think of himself as a classic example of the value and importance of music education in the early years. David started clarinet in the fourth grade in the Concord school system, continued through high school, and went to Lowell State College as a music major. A career in music did not follow, but because of his background in instrumental music, he joined the Concord Band in 1973 and has played with the band for the past 42 years. David became principal clarinetist and concertmaster of the band about 20 years ago, and enjoys the challenge of playing difficult music well, and also the camaraderie of the group. He is grateful for all of his experiences with the band and would like to see parents support music education programs and encourage young students to take up an instrument or choral music. The skills they learn can provide a lifetime of enjoyment as they have for David.

About the Concord Band

THE CONCORD BAND was founded in 1959 as a marching unit for Concord’s Patriot’s Day parade, but since 1970 has been exclusively a concert organization, playing fourteen or more concerts each year. The sixty-five-member Band performs regularly at its permanent home, the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, at its summer home at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts, and at Concord’s “Picnic in the Park” on Independence Day. The Band has also played summer concerts in the towns of Belmont, Bolton, Hudson and Littleton, Massachusetts, and Milford and Nashua, New Hampshire. The Concord Band, once described by then University of Massachusetts Director of Bands Malcolm W. Rowell as “a wonderful ensemble with a marvelous history...a cultural treasure,” also participates frequently in the annual Boston Festival of Bands held in Faneuil Hall each June.

In 2013 the Concord Band received the Sudler Silver Scroll from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. This award “recognizes community concert bands of outstanding musical excellence” and is “North America’s most prestigious award for community concert bands”. The Concord Band was the first community band in New England to receive the Sudler Silver Scroll.

Members of the Band represent many area communities and a wide variety of professions. Band members have played in the organization for an average of nearly sixteen years; sixteen have been members for twenty-five years or more. Many are alumni of prestigious college, military, or professional bands.

Over the years, the Band has engaged numerous noted guest conductors. These 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.

Lt. Col. Steven Grimo, then commander of the US Air Force Academy Band, has described the Concord Band as “true Patriots and the Soul of New England. The Concord Band is truly a Community Band with a professional attitude. They enjoy the experience of making music and know how to Make it Happen!”

Since 1967 the Band has either commissioned or has had written for it 79 new works for symphonic wind ensemble—possibly more than any other community band in the world. Such works have been written by composers Norman Dello Joio, 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, and Jerry Vabulas, as well as by the Band's Music Director Laureate, the late William M. Toland, and Music Director Emeritus, Dr. William G. McManus.

The Concord Band’s published CDs, A Winter Festival, The Best of the Concord Band in Concert: 1992-1994, and The Concord Band Salutes America—as well as concert audio and video recordings, limited edition discs available to friends of the Band—are a great way to preserve one’s memory of the Band.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Band Members Featured in Fall Concert

By Ken Troup

The Concord Band begins its 2016-17 season with a concert entitled "Suite Spots". 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, October 22, 2016. Admission is free; contributions are welcome at the door. Two long-time band members are featured in solos: Dan Diamond, the longest serving member of the Band, percussion section leader, and member of the Board of Trustees, will play the snare drum solo in Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. David Purinton, a member since 1973, will play the clarinet solo in Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino. The program also includes four suites written for band and three transcriptions for band to round out the “suite spots.”

Dan Diamond
Boléro is one of Ravel’s most recognized works and is based on the musical form and Spanish dance of the same name. With a repeating ostinato and snare drum accompaniment, featuring percussionist Dan Diamond, this arrangement by Jay Bocook slowly builds from piano to fortissimo, all the time adding variations in instrumentation. The final climax brings all musical forces to bear as the work crescendos to a dynamic conclusion. Dan Diamond played in bands and orchestras in Springfield schools and MIT before settling in the Boston area and joining the Concord Band in 1970. He is a Concord Band Lifetime Service Award recipient, honoring his decades of service to the band as percussionist, board member, fundraising chairman, newsletter editor, and video executive producer and editor, just to name a few.

David Purinton
The Weber Concertino, Opus 26, was written in 1811 and was arranged for band by Bruce R. Smith. This single-movement work features solo clarinet in a series of distinct and complementary variations. Weber composed two clarinet concertos the same year in his native Germany and was a prominent opera and orchestra composer until his death from tuberculosis in 1826 at the age of only 39. David Purinton, the clarinet soloist, is a Concord native who now lives in Devens and is the concertmaster of the Band.

Boston Liberties, by Julie Giroux, a prominent band composer originally from Massachusetts, was commissioned by The Concord Band in 2003. Most significant for this fall, the fourth movement of the suite pays tribute to Boston Light, the oldest lighthouse in the U.S., which just celebrated its 300th anniversary in September. Titled “A Penny a Ton,” the movement notes the early tax on cargo that helped pay for and maintain Boston Light. The other movements depict images of Boston Harbor and the Old Granary Grounds Cemetery, as well as a tribute to John Adams’ role as defense counsel for the British soldiers following the Boston Massacre, when he said “Facts are Stubborn Things.”

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Diamond Dreams of Performing Arts Center

Dan Diamond, left, designer of the Dream Center for the Performing Arts,
answers questions about an interior elevation drawing of the building
for John Rabinowitz.
By Venessa Rene

Originally published in the Concord Journal

“For years I have been dreaming about what the ideal performing arts center for the Concord area might look like,” said Dan Diamond, 47-year member of the Concord Band and 11 years as a past member of the Concord Orchestra. This past January, when the potential Powerball jackpot was approaching $1 billion, he speculated about what he would do if he won. High on his list was to build his dream.

“I decided that because (until it is built) there will always be a need for a building like this, I should document my design.”
This design, which Diamond refers to as the Dream Center for the Performing Arts and was essentially complete by the end of May, has not been requested by or produced with the support or endorsement of any organization. The first public showing of Diamond’s proposal for the Dream Center will take place at 51 Walden, Concord, for a week beginning on Oct. 22.

As wonderful as it is, according to Diamond, the shortcomings of 51 Walden, Concord’s current performing arts center, are generally well understood — insufficient capacity (the building is booked nearly solid as a performance venue except in the summer), insufficient seating (for music performances, the maximum audience size is 250), no rehearsal space outside of the auditorium, lack of essential storage space, acoustical problems, insufficient ventilation and lack of air-conditioning — among other issues.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fall Concert Poster

2016 Fall Concert Poster

Thursday, September 1, 2016

John Ferrillo, BSO Principal Oboist, Named Honorary Member

John Ferillo
Guest Artist, oboe
Following a performance at Fruitlands Museum, his third appearance with the Concord Band during our 2015–2016 season, John Ferrillo, principal oboist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was surprised with a framed certificate naming him an Honorary Member of the Band—only the second artist so designated—“by acclamation of its members in recognition of his generous spirit and enthusiasm for his favorite concert band”. John was also given a Concord Band polo shirt, which he was reported by the daughter of one of our members to be wearing at a BSO rehearsal on Friday, July 23.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Announcing the 2016–2017 Concert Season!

Look for this season schedule card around town, and included with your complimentary newsletter, Notes from the Concord Band !

The Concord Band continues its exploration of the great works for symphonic concert band. The fall concert, "Suite Spots," features a great concert band arrangement of Ravel’s ballet suite, Boléro. Based on the Spanish dance for which the piece is named, the composition has been a sensational success since its premiere in 1928. This arrangement features percussionist Dan Diamond. David Purinton is solo clarinetist in von Weber’s popular work, Concertino. "Shades of Blue," our second formal concert, features the brilliant solo work of David Southard on alto saxophone, Richard Given on cornet, and the Concord Band jazz combo players. Ticheli’s Blue Shades combines the composer’s love of jazz and the blues. Blues harmonies, rhythms and melodic idioms pervade the work. Nestico’s Persuasion is a lush, lyrical solo for alto sax. Fantasy and Variations on the Carnival of Venice contains virtuoso displays of double and triple tonguing and fast tempos and features principal trumpet Richard Given. Our 2016 Holiday Pops concerts, a Concord tradition since 1976, sell out early, and is the perfect kickoff for your holiday season. Our Spring Pops features multi-talented jazz vocalist and trumpeter Christine Fawson. Admission prices for our Pops concerts are family friendly and there are no charges for the October and March concerts. Don’t miss a minute of this very special season.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Gallery: Picnic in the Park

Many thanks to photographer Matt Savoie for sharing photos of the Concord Band performing at our at Concord's annual Picnic in the Park on the 4th of July!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Concert Series at Fruitlands Museum Begins June 23

Gather on the lawn for our annual Summer Concert Series and experience breathtaking sunsets while listening to beautiful music performed on Fruitlands’ outdoor stage.

This year Fruitlands Museum welcomes back The Concord Band, comprising 65 musicians from 40 area towns, performing their 31st season at Fruitlands. 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.

Concert Program Themes
  • June 23 - Into the Woods
  • June 30 - A Swingin’ Summer
  • July   7 - An American Salute
  • July 14 - Wonderfully Warm  ☞Annual picnic contest!
  • July 21 - Broadway’s Best
  • July 28 - Summer Retrospective
What You Need to Know
  • Concerts begin at 7:15pm.
  • Admission is $10/car for Museum Members, $15/car for Nonmembers.
  • Season discount passes are available: $40 Members, $60 Nonmembers – pick any 5 concerts to attend.
  • Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket, or purchase food from one of our food vendors. Beer and wine available on site.
  • The Museum Galleries and Wayside Visitor Center are open until 7pm. Concert admission price includes entry after 5pm.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Boston Festival of Bands

The Concord Band will be one of seven concert bands from New England and Canada taking part in the 28th annual Boston Festival of Bands, a day-long celebration of the best in symphonic concert band music. The festival will be held in the Great Hall of historic Faneuil Hall in Boston on Saturday, June 11, 2016. This annual event, hosted by the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, is free to the public. This will be the Concord Band's nineteenth appearance at this prestigious festival.

The Concord Band is thrilled to announce that guest artist John Ferrillo, principal oboist of The Boston Symphony Orchestra, will be joining us for the second time this season. He previously performed with the Band at its 2015 Holiday Pops Concerts. Mr Ferrillo said that he enjoyed the experience so much that he immediately replied "Yes" when Music Director James O'Dell invited him to perform with us at the 2016 Boston Festival of Bands.

The Concord Band will perform at 2:00 PM.


The RedwoodsRossano Galante
Autumn SoliloquyJames Barnes
John Ferrillo, oboe soloist
Gabriel's OboeEnnio Morricone
John Ferrillo, oboe soloist
Lincolnshire PosyPercy Grainger
Old ChurchesMichael Colgrass
Nobles of the Mystic ShrineJohn Philip Sousa

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Concord Band Spring Pops with Guest Vocalist Amanda Carr

In what has become a Concord tradition each spring, jazz vocalist Amanda Carr will be joining the Concord Band at its Spring Pops concerts on Friday and Saturday April 8 and 9, 2016, 8:00 pm, at 51 Walden (The Performing Arts Center) in Concord.

At the pops-style concerts with tables and refreshments, Amanda will sing new arrangements of Girl from Ipanema, When I Fall in Love, and Cry Me a River. She will also reprise favorite performances of William McManus’s arrangement for Amanda Carr of They All Laughed and Warren Barker’s arrangement of ‘S Wonderful, which also features a tenor saxophone solo by Judy Piermarini.
Amanda Carr
Guest Artist

Amanda Carr is the only honorary member of the Concord Band and an internationally-acclaimed Boston-based jazz vocalist who has been lauded for her performances in the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She began singing professionally as a teenager in the rock and pop genre, playing in Boston-area nightclubs before focusing her attention on big band music. Paying homage to her big band musician parents, Amanda founded the American Big Band Preservation Society in 2009, a non-profit organization that helps preserve America’s musical heritage. Since 2006, Concord Band Spring Pops audiences have eagerly awaited the return of Amanda Carr as guest soloist with the Band.

Music Director Jim O’Dell has chosen a variety of concert band music to round out the Spring Pops program. From the Band’s Winter Concert, O’Dell selected The Redwoods by Rossano Galante and Selections from “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim. Other numbers include Leroy Anderson and Disney movie medleys, along with traditional Dixieland and march music.

Friday’s Pops concert is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Concord for the 41st consecutive year; tickets to that concert are available from Rotary by email or by calling 508-878-6577. The Saturday concert is sponsored by the Concord Band. Tickets at tables for 4 at $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12 are available through the Concord Band’s telephone line, 978-897-9969, email us at, or online at Free refreshments are provided.

Come celebrate spring at 51 Walden with the Concord Band!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Pops with Amanda Carr

Holiday Pops 2016 Poster

The Concord Band presents its annual Spring Pops Concert, featuring guest vocalist Amanda Carr on Saturday, April 9, 2016; 8:00 PM, at '51 Walden', The Performing Arts Center in Concord, MA.


Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children (under 12). Seating is at tables for 4.  A few tables for more than 4 will be available on the drama stage. This Saturday performance is sponsored by The Concord Band. (A performance on Friday, April 8 is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Concord.)
Visit to purchase tickets in advance.
By Mail
Send a check in the amount of $25 per ticket ($15 for children 12 and under), made out to “The Concord Band”, and mail to The Concord Band, PO Box 302, Concord, MA 01742.
By Phone
Call the Band's telephone line at 978-897-9969 and record your voice message.
By Email
Send email to Concord Band reservations.
If you place your reservations by phone, mail, or email, be sure to specify how many tickets, which night, and include your name, email address and phone number for confirmation. You must still mail a check in order to hold the seats. You may also include an SASE in order to receive your tickets before the night of the concert.  Unpaid tickets will be subject to re-sale at the door on the night of the concert.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Memoir: My Triumphant Two-Concert Tenure with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Long ago (sometime in 1952), but not terribly far away (Springfield, MA), I began my life-long avocation as a percussionist. Around the age of 11 or 12, I fell in love with classical music. I credit this largely to my first music mentor, Lee Crabtree, Director of Music Education for the City of Springfield, and his wife Mary. They were also neighbors, and their kids became my best friends.

Many of my musician friends were members of the Western Massachusetts Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and I let it be known that I wanted to do that, too. I wasn’t really ready, but Mr. Crabtree persuaded my second music mentor, Robert Staffanson (who, at age 94, has recently published his memoir, Witness to Spirit: My Life with Cowboys, Mozart & Indians), conductor of both the Springfield Symphony and the YPS Orchestra, to give me a shot, perhaps based on my enthusiasm. My experience with the Springfield YPS Orchestra was phenomenal. Playing under Mr. Staffanson was such a joy partly because he treated the kids like adults. It was there that I really began to learn what it meant to be a musician. Sometime before high school, an audition for some ensemble or other introduced me to my third youthful music mentor, Warren Myers, who was in his first few years as a percussionist with the Springfield Symphony and Band Director at the high school that I would eventually attend, in no small part because he was there.

Left to Right: Lee Crabtree, Director of Music Education, Springfield schools; Robert Staffanson, Music Director, Springfield Symphony Orchestra; Warren Myers, Percussionist, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and Band Director, Springfield Technical High School; Harry Ellis Dickson, Violinist, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of Boston Symphony Orchestra Children’s Concerts.
Warren Myers, I should mention, had an incredible snare drum roll. It was, as he was willing to acknowledge, as “smooth as silk”. He was also a phenomenal cymbal player. I had the opportunity to hear him play fairly regularly because during high school, my friend Lee Crabtree (son of my first mentor) and I became assistant stage managers for the Springfield Symphony. This meant in reality that we set up the Orchestra members’ chairs and stands for rehearsals. But we also got to be at those rehearsals. Warren would send me up to the first balcony to listen to him adjust his snare drum: “Too much snare? Too much head?” he would ask.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Concord Band Winter Concert 2016

Review by Bruce Pasha

This was my first Concord Band concert in a long time and, based on last Saturday night’s offering, it won’t be the last. The true gem of the evening was marimba Guest Artist, Dr. Wei-Chen Lin.

The concert opened with The Redwoods by Rossano Galante. It was created to evoke the power and majesty of the redwood forests and indeed it did. Some of the music sounded like the score to a documentary film, and on the whole, it was pleasant to hear and enjoy memories of walking through the redwood forests of California.

Next up was a transcription of Tales from the Vienna Woods by Johann Strauss. Although it was very well played, this piece didn’t work for me as band music. It lacked the lightness and lilt of a string orchestra and sounded heavy and plodding instead of dancing at times.

The third piece was a wonderful collection of six English melodies arranged by Percy Grainger called Lincolnshire Posy. From the bouncy sea faring sounds of "Lisbon" to the energetic dance feel of "The Lost Lady Found," each movement told it’s story in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Winter Concert 2016

Winter Concert

Saturday, March 7, 2016

The Concord Band


The RedwoodsRossano Galante
Tales from the Vienna WoodsJohann Strauss, Jr.; trans. T. Takahashi
Lincolnshire PosyPercy Aldridge Grainger; ed. F. Fennell
  1. Lisbon (Sailor's Song)
  2. Horkstow Grange (The Miser and his Man: A local Tragedy)
  3. Rufford Park Poachers (Poaching Song)
  4. The Brisk Young Sailor (who returned to wed his True Love)
  5. Lord Melbourne (War Song)
  6. The Lost Lady Found (Dance Song)
Selections from Into the WoodsStephen Sondheim; arr. S. Bulla


Variations on a Korean Folk SongJohn Barnes Chance
Concerto for Marimba & Wind EnsembleYiu-Kwong Chung
  1. Divertimento
  2. Passacaglia
  3. Burlesque
Wei-Chen Lin, Marimba Soloist
United States Premiere
Serenade for a Picket FenceNorman Leyden
Wei-Chen Lin, Marimba 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.

The Redwoods

Inspired by the beauty, power and majesty of the redwood, Rossano Galante’s The Redwoods begins with a heroic/romantic trumpet melody accompanied by woodwind arpeggios, punctuated by brass rhythms. After a transition, the opening melody is followed by the rich, lush main theme, which is stated in the horns and woodwinds. After the main theme has undergone variations in orchestration, a new section follows, with the upper woodwinds playing a second, delicate statement reminiscent of a music box. The new theme is heard once more but played in a heroic manner by the trumpets and trombones, in juxtaposition with the original “music box” statement. The main theme recapitulates and, as each theme returns, it is heard with a change of instrumentation and accompaniment. A brass fanfare takes one to the end of the piece, culminating in a grand climax. (Source: Published Score)

Tales from the Vienna Woods

Tales from the Vienna Woods was composed in 1868 by Johann Strauss, Jr., and pays tribute to the folk music and dance of those living in the forested highlands known as the Vienna Woods. The waltz begins with an unusually long introduction, followed by five distinctive waltzes, all featuring stylistic interpretations traditional of the period. Fluctuations in tempi, including rubato, accelerando, and ritardando, combine with the sweet, lilting melodies characteristic of this Viennese musical art form. (Source: JRO)

Lincolnshire Posy

Australian-born composer Percy Aldridge Grainger wrote Lincolnshire Posy based on folk tunes he gathered in Lincolnshire, England. In 1987 this monumental setting of six folksongs was edited and assembled by world-renowned maestro Frederick Fennell with detailed and precise markings and musical annotations. Grainger’s musical language was unique, not only in his fascinating orchestration and harmonization, but also in the specific instructions in his own vernacular. Each movement contains directives such as “clingingly” [tenuto], “lilt” [con spirito], “louden” [crescendo], and “quicken” [accelerando]. (Source: JRO)
“Percy Grainger described his six-movement Lincolnshire Posy as ‘a bunch of musical wildflowers’. He worked hard to preserve the originality of folk songs by recording and taking notes on individual performances which he sought out in their natural habitat among sailors, peasants, and other spontaneous performers. ‘Plenty of lilt’ is his requirement for playing Lisbon. Horkstow Grange, or ‘The Miser and His Man, a local Tragedy’, is formed with the accent shifting throughout, yet never losing its flowing style. Rufford Park Poachers is the most complex of the settings. Its lead is set by piccolo in high register, with solo clarinet in unison three octaves lower. The tune is accompanied by itself in canon, played by E-flat clarinet and bass clarinet. In sprightly contrast is The Brisk Young Sailor, with its effective woodwind writing. The final approach has some startling passages, marked to be played ‘angrily’. Lord Melbourne (War Song) is in free-time phrases written out without bar lines. The Lost Lady Found, the most conventional setting of all the movements in the suite, is written in a fast but sturdy one-in-a-bar.” —Eric Banks, quoted in A Source Guide to the Music of Percy Grainger by Thomas P. Lewis

Into the Woods

Selections from Into the Woods features four of the best-known songs penned by Stephen Sondheim from the Tony Award–winning musical based on fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. Presented in this arrangement by Stephen Bulla are “Into the Woods,” “No One Is Alone,” “I Know Things Now,” and “Children Will Listen.” The 2014 film adaptation of the musical featured Meryl Streep (and others), and received multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. (Source: JRO)

Variations on a Korean Folk Song

The music of John Barnes Chance is a long-standing staple of original music for symphonic concert band, and his award-winning Variations on a Korean Folk Song is a favorite of both audiences and performers. Based on the Korean folk song “Arirang,” the beautifully stated pentatonic (five notes per octave) theme is first introduced by clarinets and scored in the resonant lower register. The work quickly progresses through six contrasting and exciting variations punctuated with prominent and driving percussion instruments and rhythms. (Source: JRO)

Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble

Yiu-Kwong Chung is probably Taiwan’s best known and most often performed composer. Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble consists of three contrasting movements. The first movement is a delightful, upbeat divertimento, occasionally reflecting Latin-American marimba playing. Using elements of Baroque music as its basis and its inspiration, the second movement is a passacaglia, ending with a challenging marimba cadenza, which is a three-part fugue based on the passacaglia’s main theme. The third movement is a propulsive and energetic burlesque. (Source: Published Score)

Serenade for a Picket Fence

Norman Leyden’s Serenade for a Picket Fence for xylophone is a lively and somewhat tongue-in-cheek novelty piece consisting of back-and-forth conversations between the soloist and band, including a stylistic “soft shoe” section. (Source: JRO)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marimba Soloist Highlights Winter Concert

For its March 5 Winter Concert, the Concord Band is pleased to welcome Wei-Chen Lin, an internationally renowned marimba soloist, to play in a concert entitled Music From the Woods. Lin will perform two pieces with the band on his five-octave rosewood marimba: Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble by Yiu-Kwong Chung and Serenade for a Picket Fence by Norman Leyden. For the remainder of the program, Concord Band Music Director James O’Dell has selected an international array of compositions related to "woods."

Born in 1982 in Tainan City, Taiwan, Wei-Chen Lin received his Bachelor of Music degree from Taipei National University of Arts, with Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Boston University. Currently Dr. Lin is pursuing the Artist Diploma degree as a marimba major at The Boston Conservatory under the guidance of world-class marimbist Nancy Zeltsman. Dr. Lin has performed marimba and percussion solo recitals and concerto performances with bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, Italy, Thailand, and the United States. He also teaches marimba, timpani, and percussion private lessons in Boston.

Dr Wei-Chen Lin
The marimba had its roots in Africa and Guatemala and is an important part of the culture in both areas. The modern marimba, with its rosewood bars and metal resonators, originated with Sebastian Hurtado in Guatemala in the 1890s and was first manufactured in the U.S. in the 1920s by John Deagan.

Chung’s Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble presents the solo marimba in three contrasting movements which traverse the entire range of the instrument and demonstrate Dr. Lin’s virtuosic, agile, and at times athletic four-mallet technique. The late Norman Leyden, a band director, composer and arranger for Glenn Miller and numerous movies and television shows, composed Serenade for a Picket Fence in 1956 as a mallet instrument showpiece.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Music From the Woods

The Concord Band’s 57th Season Continues
on Saturday, March 5th

Join the Concord Band as it celebrates its 57th year of music-making, continuing a season-long exploration of some of the great works for symphonic concert band. The Band’s Winter Concert, Music from the Woods, will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, MA, on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at 8:00 PM. Admission is free; contributions will be appreciated.

The concert presents a wide and diverse offering of musical works and styles, from English and Korean folk songs to waltz and burlesque dance and Broadway. Soloist Dr. Wei-Chen Lin will perform on the five-octave rosewood marimba.

The Redwoods, by Rossano Galante, is inspired by the majesty of the redwood and is a sweeping and lush depiction of the awesome beauty of these huge trees.

The waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, by Johann Strauss, Jr., pays tribute to the folk music and dance of those living in the forested highlands known as the Vienna Woods, and features the zither, a musical instrument of Austria and local regions.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Spotlight: Wei-Chen Lin to Perform at Winter Concert

Wei-Chen Lin
Dr Wei-Chen Lin is a respected marimba performer, and chamber, contemporary, and orchestral musician. Born in 1982 in Tainan City, Taiwan, Wei-Chen is currently based in Boston, MA. Wei-Chen began to study piano at age of five and percussion at age of twelve. Wei-Chen’s recent marimba repertoire includes music of J.S. Bach, Camille Saint-Saens, Francesco Tárrega, and Lyle Mays. His passion for new music led him to form Hai-Dao Contemporary Ensemble in 2014 which has performed works of Kenji Sakai and Chang Shiuan.

Wei-Chen received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Taipei National University of Arts. He moved to the United States in 2006. He received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University. Currently, Wei-Chen is pursuing the Artist Diploma degree as a marimba major at The Boston Conservatory under the guidance of world-famous marimbist Nancy Zeltsman.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Winter Concert Poster

2016 Winter Concert Poster