Friday, November 22, 2019

Spotlight: Soprano Soloist Elaine Crane

Guest Artist Elaine Crane
Elaine Crane has been hailed by critics as “brilliant”, “…a charming actress”, “…a beautiful voice and a very fine comic actor.” She has performed with many respected  opera and theatre companies, both regionally and nationally.

Gilbert and Sullivan operas are a particular favorite, and “… Crane’s voice and demeanor (are) perfect G&S heroine material…” in roles such as Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Josephine Corcoran (H.M.S. Pinafore), Elsie Maynard (Yeomen of the Guard) and Yum-Yum (The Mikado). Personal highlights of Elaine’s many stage roles include performing the role of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof opposite Tony-nominated stage and screen personality Eddie Mekka, and creating the role of Squaw Sachem in the original musical Song on the Wind by Concord, MA composer David MacAdam, and being featured on the original cast recording, as well as the cast recording of Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol by the same composer.

Elaine's recent accolades are winning the 2013 DASH Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Maria in Concord Players' Sound of Music, which also won the award for Best Musical Production) as well as being nominated for the award again in 2015 (Lilli/Kate in CP's Kiss Me Kate, which also won the award for Best Musical Production).

Equally at home on the recital stage, Elaine's voice and stage presence have been described by critics as "sparkling", "exquisite", and "absolutely radiant". As recitalist and oratorio singer, Elaine has been a featured soprano soloist with such groups as the Worcester Chorus, Salisbury Singers, Great Waters Music Festival, Maplewind Arts, and Valley Light Opera. “Her voice soars…” in such works as the Requiems of Mozart and Brahms, Vaughan Williams’ Benedicite, Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Her versatility in concert and recital work spans from opera, oratorio and art song to the lyrical music of Broadway, and Elaine frequently performs a wide variety of sacred and secular concert repertoire throughout the New England area. In a more intimate setting, she also performs for weddings, funerals and other church functions and sacred events. In 2016 Elaine made her debut on NPR as a featured soloist on Says You!

Elaine is a cum laude graduate of the Boston Conservatory, where she studied opera and vocal performance. She is the founder and executive director of Greater Worcester Opera, an organization dedicated to opera performance and education, with whom she currently performs in their touring operas for children. She is also a board member of the New England Gilbert and Sullivan Society (NEGASS). Offstage, Elaine is a stage and musical director, producer, costumer and educator. On a personal note, she resides in Central Massachusetts with her husband and 5 children.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Elaine Crane Joins The Concord Band for Holiday Pops

Elaine Crane
Noted soprano Elaine Crane will sing holiday favorites as The Concord Band holds its 43rd annual Holiday Pops concerts at 8:00 pm on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden St in Concord, MA. Ms. Crane will sing Cantique de Noel, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and White Christmas, and will lead the audience in a sing-along of favorite holiday carols. Music director James O’Dell will lead the Band in traditional holiday music, and Assistant Conductor Steve Barbas will conduct the rhythmic The Eighth Candle to celebrate Chanukah.

Elaine Crane is the founder and executive director of Greater Worcester Opera, an organization dedicated to opera performance and education for all ages. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory, she has sung numerous lead roles in area Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and Broadway musicals, and has been soloist with many area choruses in such works as Beethoven’s Mass in C and the Requiems of Brahms, Mozart, and Rutter.

Tickets for Concord Band Holiday Pops are available in tables for four (with a few for six on the stage) at $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12, and include free snacks, sparkling cider, water, and soft drinks. To order tickets and choose table locations online, visit More information about the Concord Band and the Holiday Pops program can be found on Facebook, and at the Band’s blog, If you need assistance, please leave a voice message on the Band’s phone line at 978-897-9969.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Holiday Pops 2019

2019 Holiday Pops Poster

The Concord Band will present its 43rd annual Holiday Pops concerts at 8:00 pm on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street in Concord MA, with guest artist, soprano Elaine Crane. Tickets in tables for four (with a few tables for six on the stage) are available at $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Refreshments and drinks are included. Tickets and table locations can be reserved online at More information about the Concord Band and the Holiday Pops program may be found on Facebook, and at the Band’s blog, If you need assistance, please leave a voice message on the Band’s phone line at 978-897-9969.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

"Carnival of the Animals" Concert Videos

Carnival of the Animals
Saturday, October 26, 2019
The Concord Band
James O’Dell, Music Director

Manatee Lyric OvertureRobert Sheldon
Jurassic Park Soundtrack HighlightsJohn Williams; arr. Lavender
Mother Goose MarchJohn Philip Sousa
Carnival of the AnimalsCamille Saint-Saëns; arr. Brand
Of Sailors and WhalesW. Francis McBeth
The Walking FrogKarl L. King
"Hoe Down" from RodeoAaron Copeland; trans. Rogers
Tarantellatraditional; arr. Alfred Reed

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

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

The complete Concord Band Performance Video Database is accessible through a tab at the top of each blog page. You can play a video or view program notes by selecting links in the excerpt shown here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Review: Carnival of the Animals

by Gretchen d’Andrea

The Concord Band is a well-respected ensemble that performs serious music, so my interest was piqued at the title of their fall concert, Carnival of the Animals. This suite of music composed for pianos and small ensemble is a set of fourteen small movements that Camille Saint-Saens considered a humorous bit of fun. As a fan of Carnival and The Concord Band, I was excited to hear their take on it.

As it turns out, I preferred several other offerings, especially the McBeth piece, Of Sailors and Whales, and the delightful Manatee Lyric Overture by Robert Sheldon.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sheldon several years ago, and am familiar with his straightforward and programmatic style. This selection was reminiscent of Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Sparkling, playful moving notes of the A section showed off the fast fingers of the woodwind players like sunlight dancing off water. The B section featured a soaring lyrical theme as manatees, and then returned to the shimmering woodwinds for an optimistic finish. It was a happy-go-lucky start to a very interesting musical journey.

In the McBeth piece, this band’s performance took my breath away. I was impressed by the depth and complexity of the selection as well. The work is a five-movement piece based on scenes from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Program music tells a story. The composer used tools in his musical arsenal to express the adventures of Ishmael and other characters. Rich chords building and resolving evoked the deceptively peaceful rhythms of the ocean. The intensity of dark vocal tones in the singing section hinted at chaos to come. The chimes were an ominous reminder that this tale has no happy ending.

Later, we were witness to the climax of Ahab’s obsessive quest for the elusive white whale, as exciting tone clusters were punctuated by tight and powerful percussion. When the piece was over, and the turmoil stilled, we couldn’t help remarking that the band deserved a standing ovation for that piece alone. The connection between director, ensemble and audience was remarkable.

I wasn’t enchanted by the prerecorded narration. A live performance is better with live narration. Although the bassoonist was a vocally expressive reader, the piece begged for the sense of urgency that can only be conveyed through live recitation.

Carnival of the Animals included several movements from the suite. Contrast between the movements was lacking. I felt the Elephant was rushed, and the solo clarinet on The Cuckoo was overwhelmed by the band. Placing the clarinet player apart from the band was a cute idea, but made it was harder to hear his repetitive solos. The Fossils movement was a standout, featuring a smooth clarinet solo, ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, in neat juxtaposition to the familiar Danse Macabre xylophone theme representing the bones. It was great. The Swan’s low brass soloist was gorgeous as the swan over an accompaniment of winds and xylophone as ripples of water. The accompaniment wasn’t quite together here, and played too loudly. The invigorating Finale started presto, but lost its pace.

Jurassic Park was well played, a predictable crowd pleaser, rich sonorous themes expressively played by the brass section. My companion and I commented that the energy of a live performance cannot be duplicated. Nuances are pronounced, and various layers of texture created by different families of instruments come alive. The ending here was a bit frayed, but this small issue was resolved by the final chord.

The Walking Frog and Hoedown represent iconic Americana. The conductor gave the audience a context for Frog, mentioning small town circuses of former days. Frog proved that this band is completely comfortable with ragtime syncopation. A nimbly played trumpet solo was cheery and clean. Hoedown from Copland’s Billy the Kid overture conjured visions of cowboys and horses, but the band did not stay together on the intricate rhythms. Saxes overwhelmed the lighter woodwinds at times, and notes got away from players in the faster sections, but nonetheless, the ever confident brass brought the piece to a rousing conclusion.

The Tarantella (tarantula) was fantastic. The audience kept time to a repeated series of toe-tapping musical triplets passed from one section of the band to the other. This Italian folk dance was excellently rendered. The triplet extravaganza at the climax was invigorating. What a great way to end the evening.

Offering musical selections unfamiliar to the general public is a creative service to the community. It sets The Concord Band apart from other community bands. Hard work and dedication to music is evident here. We are drawn in by the familiar, but we are truly enriched by their extraordinary renditions of rarely heard pieces.

Gretchen C. D’Andrea holds a Masters in Arts in Teaching Degree and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in flute. Over many years, Gretchen has produced and directed musicals in both public and private school settings. Currently, Gretchen directs band and chorus, and teaches general music in Uxbridge, MA. She plays flute in the East Woodstock Community Band and loves to read in her spare time.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Fall Concert

Carnival of the Animals
Saturday, October 26, 2019 • 8:00 PM
The Concord Band
James O’Dell, Music Director
Nathaniel Hefferman, narrator

James O’Dell conducting
Manatee Lyric Overture Robert Sheldon (b. 1954)
Jurassic Park Soundtrack Highlights John Williams (b. 1932)
arr. Lavender
Mother Goose March John Philip Sousa (1854–1932)
Carnival of the Animals Camille Saint–Saëns (1835–1921)
arr. Brand
  1. Introduction and Royal March of the Lions
  2. The Elephant
  3. The Cuckoo far off in the Wood
  4. Fossils
  5. The Swan
  6. Finale
Of Sailors and Whales W. Francis McBeth (1933–2012)
  1. Ishmael
  2. Queequeg
  3. Father Mapple
  4. Ahab
  5. The White Whale
The Walking Frog Karl L. King (1891–1971)
“Hoe Down” from Rodeo Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
trans. Rogers
Tarantella arr. Alfred Reed (1921–2005)

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.
View program notes...

Nathaniel Hefferman

Nathaniel Hefferman
Nathaniel Hefferman, a member of the Concord Band since 2004, earned his degree in music from Ithaca College, where he studied bassoon with Edward Gobrecht. He has been a member of many community bands and orchestras, including the SE Mass Community Concert Band, the American Band of Providence, the Lexington Bicentennial Band, the Arlington Philharmonic, the Wellesley Symphony, the Civic Symphony of Boston, the New England Philharmonic, and the Concord Band. Mr. Hefferman’s primary role in the Concord Band is as principal bassoonist, but he is also the Band’s announcer. In that capacity he serves as narrator in two pieces on tonight’s program, one of them having been pre-recorded.

Mr. Hefferman is a freelance musician and lives in Lexington.

Manatee Lyric Overture

Manatee Lyric Overture by Robert Sheldon (b. 1954) is a robust, spirited, and sonorous overture that uses the opening measures as the thematic material throughout the entire composition. The work was commissioned by the Manatee County (Florida) School Board and given its first performance in February, 1985, with the composer conducting. (Source: published score)

Jurassic Park Soundtrack Highlights

John Williams (b. 1932) is one of the most prominent and recognizable composers of music for film and concert stage, and his score for the movie Jurassic Park is truly iconic. Jurassic Park Soundtrack Highlights, arranged by Paul Lavender, includes three most prominent themes: “Journey to Island” featuring the noble trumpet fanfare, the reflective “Theme from Jurassic Park,” and the haunting “Raptors” theme. (Source: JRO)

Mother Goose

Mother Goose by John Philip Sousa (1824–1892) was one of his less well-known marches and contains a number of nursery songs including “Down in the Meadow,” “There Is a Man in Our Town,” “Come All Ye Young Maids,” “I’se Come to See Miss Jennie Jones,” “Little Jack Horner,” and “Our Dear Doctor.” (Source: JRO)

The Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) wrote his Grand Zoological Fantasy, The Carnival of the Animals, in 1886 and it was first performed at a Shrove Tuesday concert in that year with the composer as one of the performers. Subsequently, Saint-Saëns allowed it to be performed on only a few occasions and under special conditions. Later he forbade it to be performed at all but this restriction was lifted under a special provision in his will. The movements included by arranger Geoffrey Brand are “Introduction and Royal March of the Lions,” “The Elephant,” “The Cuckoo far off in the Wood,” “Fossils,” “The Swan,” and “Finale.” Accompanying each movement are humorous verses written by Ogden Nash in 1949. (Source: published score)

Of Sailors and Whales

W. Francis McBeth (1933–2012) composed the tone poem Of Sailors and Whales drawing inspiration for the five scenes from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It was commissioned by and is dedicated to the California Band Directors Association, Inc., and is subdedicated to Robert Lanon White, Commander USN (Ret.), who went to sea as a simple sailor. The narration that precedes each movement was devised by Lewis J. Buckley, Conductor Laureate of the US Coast Guard Band and MetWinds. (Source: published score)

The Walking Frog

The emergence of ragtime coincided with the great era of concert bands. The similarities between the marches, two steps, cakewalks, and ragtime pieces resulted in an intermingling of these forms. Famous circus bandmaster Karl L. King (1891–1971) wrote The Walking Frog between 1917 and 1918 during the time he was the director of the Barnum & Bailey’s Circus Band, but it was not published until after he had left the circus. King originally wrote the piece as a circus clown “walk about” but its infectious charm soon made it a favorite with many other circus acts. (Source: published score)

“Hoe Down” from Rodeo

Aaron Copland (1900–1990) extracted a mini-suite from his ballet score Rodeo, choreographed by Agnes de Mille, to be used specifically for concert performance. The fourth episode, “Hoe Down,” from Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo has been superbly transcribed for band by Mark Rogers, Director of Publications for Southern Music Company. A square dance tune called “Bonyparte” provides the principal theme of Hoe Down. (Source: published score)


Arranged by master composer and arranger Alfred Reed (1921– 2005), Tarantella is a couple folk dance of Italy characterized by light, quick steps and teasing, flirtatious behavior between partners; women dancers frequently carry tambourines. The music is in lively 6/8 time. Tarantellas for two couples are also danced. The tarantella’s origin is connected with tarantism, a disease or form of hysteria that appeared in Italy in the 15th to the 17th century and that was obscurely associated with the bite of the tarantula spider; victims seemingly were cured by frenzied dancing. All three words ultimately derive from the name of the town of Taranto, Italy. (Source:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Concord Band to Perform Carnival of the Animals

After a successful 60th anniversary season, capped by a performance at the Minute Man National Historical Park’s own 60th anniversary commemoration, The Concord Band will hold its Fall Concert at 8:00 pm Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden in Concord, Mass. Music Director James O’Dell has chosen the theme, “Carnival of the Animals,” featuring music inspired by the animal kingdom, from pre-historic to present-day, in all of its splendor, beauty, power, and might. Admission to the Concord Band’s Fall Concert is free; donations are gratefully accepted.

In addition to Camille Saint-Saëns’ titular composition, the program will include W. Francis McBeth’s Of Sailors and Whales, with narrative introductions to each of the five movements excerpted from Melville’s literary masterpiece, Moby Dick. Other works include Aaron Copland’s Hoe Down, from his suite from the ballet Rodeo, the Italian folk dance Tarantella arranged by Alfred Reed, and Jurassic Park Soundtrack Highlights from the original film score by John Williams—just in time for the anticipated sequel, Jurassic World 3 featuring the cast from the original movie. Robert Sheldon’s Manatee Lyric Overture, Sousa’s seldom-performed Mother Goose March, and Karl L. King’s Walking Frog two-step round out the program.
Nat Hefferman

British composer Geoffrey Brand has arranged Carnival of the Animals into a suite in six movements for concert band. Accompanying each movement will be humorous and apt poems by Ogden Nash. Concord Band bassoonist and announcer Nat Hefferman will read the Nash poems as well as the Melville narrations in Of Sailors and Whales.

The Concord Band is supported by grants from Concord and Bolton Cultural Councils, agencies of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Band is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which gladly accepts donations through secure on-line links at the Concord Band’s homepage ( or blog (, where you can also find more information about the 2013 Sudler Silver Scroll-winning ensemble.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

61st Season Begins with "Carnival of the Animals"

Fall 2019 Concert Poster
It feels like only yesterday that we celebrated our 60th anniversary year with great success-two commissions and world premieres, past commissions by Warren Barker, Stephen Bulla, and James Curnow, five guest artists, a new "Cabaret'' ambiance and mood lighting for Spring Pops at 51 Walden, a special "Patriots' Day" concert at 51 Walden, and my 10th anniversary as Music Director and Conductor. This past year has been a wonderful tribute to the Concord Band and its distinguished and rich history.

The Fall Concert of our 61st season will be held at 8 PM on Saturday, October 26, at 51 Walden, and will feature symphonic band masterpieces, beloved orchestral transcriptions, and short and quirky marches and march-like gems. The theme "Carnival of the Animals" will salute music that features the animal kingdom in all of its splendor, beauty, power, and might.

Manatee Lyric Overture by Robert Sheldon is a robust, spirited and sonorous overture that uses the opening measures as the thematic material throughout the entire composition.

The traditional upbeat and lively Italian folk dance Tarantella, masterfully arranged by Alfred Reed, authentically captures the spirit and flavor of the familiar and beloved 14th century dance.

W. Francis McBeth penned the band masterwork Of Sailors and Whales, drawing inspiration for its five scenes from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. The five movements are entitled "Ishmael," "Queequeg," "Father Mapple," "Ahab," and "The White Whale." The narration that precedes each movement was devised by Lewis J. Buckley, Conductor Laureate of the US Coast Guard Band and MetWinds.

Aaron Copland extracted a mini-suite from his ballet score Rodeo to be used specifically for concert performance and titled it Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo. The fourth episode, "Hoe Down," has been superbly transcribed for band by Mark Rogers, Director of Publications for Southern Music Company.

Famous circus bandmaster Karl L. King wrote The Walking Frog at a time when numerous musical styles were prevalent, including marches, two steps, and ragtime. The Walking Frog is a two-step and a favorite musical addition to "back in the day" circus bands.

The Carnival of the Animals by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns is a musical suite full of humor and pure fun. Arranged for band as a concert suite by British composer and arranger Geoffrey Brand, the movements included are "Introduction and Royal March of the Lions," "The Elephant," "The Cuckooo Far Off in the Wood," "Fossils," "The Swan," and "Finale." Accompanying each movement are humorous verses written by Ogden Nash in 1949, to be read by Concord Band principle bassoonist and announcer Nat Hefferman.

John Williams is one of the most prominent and recognizable composer of music for film and concert stage, and his score for the movie Jurassic Park is truly iconic. Jurassic Park Soundtrack Highlights masterfully arranged by Paul Lavender includes two most prominent themes, "Journey to Island" featuring a noble trumpet fanfare, and the reflective "Theme from Jurassic Park."

Mother Goose March by J. P. Sousa was one of his seldom performed marches and contains a number of nursery songs including "Down in the Meadow," "There Is a Man in Our Town," "Come All Ye Young Maids," ''I'se Come to See Miss Jennie Jones," "Little Jack Homer," and "Our Dear Doctor."

James O'Dell is Music Director of the Concord Band, and Associate Dean of  Academic Operations at the Boston Conservatory.

Concert Poster: Carnival of the Animals

2019 Fall Concert Poster
Your very own award-winning Concord Band returns to the stage at 51 Walden on Saturday, 10/26, at 8 p.m. for this free concert ushering in it's 61st Season. This musical menagerie features great works for the symphonic concert band, including Manatee Lyric Overture, Of Sailors and Whales and Carnival of the Animals. The Walking Frog and Mother Goose also make an appearance. The evening would not be complete without musical highlights from the soundtrack of Jurassic Park.

This concert is designed for families of all ages and is a free event! Donations are always welcome, of course, and keep these concerts local. The Concord Band—Celebrating 61 years of great music-making!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Save the Dates!

2019-2020 Season Postcard
As the Concord Band begins its 61st Season, we're preparing a concert series you won't want to miss! Look for our colorful season schedule card included with the Fall 2019 issue of our newsletter, Notes from the Concord Band. If you would like to receive a season card for your bulletin board or 'fridge, sign up for our free newsletter by following this link.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Minute Man National Historical Parks 60th Anniversary Concert Video

As 2019 is also the 60th Anniversary of the Concord Band, the park and the band teamed up to present a concert of patriotic inspired music on the field overlooking the North Bridge. Ken Troup, President of the Concord Band said,
The Concord Band is honored to be playing at the Minute Man National Historical Park’s 60th anniversary celebration. The concert is a great way for the Band to transition from our own 60th anniversary to the new 2019-2020 season of band music in Concord. This anniversary concert is especially meaningful, because years ago the Concord Band played at the dedication of the Battle Road Visitors Center, and Thursday evenings during the summer beside the North Bridge Visitors Center. I’m happy we’re continuing the close relationship between the park and the Concord Band.
Our thanks to the Concord Band for their performance on this glorious fall day, and the Friends of Minute Man National Historical Park. I'd like to share a video of the Minute Man National Historical Parks 60th Anniversary Commemorative Program, held on the grounds overlooking historic North Bridge. The production is from our friends at Minuteman Media Network TV, Concord, MA. Our thanks to those who came out and recorded this special day for us.

Philip Lupsiewicz
Media and Communications
Minute Man National Historical Park

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Minute Man National Historical Park 60th Anniversary Concert

The Concord Band was honored to present a concert in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Minute Man National Historical Park on Saturday, September 21, 2019, in Concord. Hearkening back to the 1970s when the Concord Band played weekly during the summer at the North Bridge Visitors Center, Music Director James O'Dell led the Band in music appropriate for a celebratory occasion and to the location above the North Bridge in Concord. National Park Superintendent B. J. Dunn invited dignitaries and the public to listen to the Concord Band while viewing the North Bridge.

View of audience from Band at
Minute Man National Historical Park's
60th Anniversary Concert.
The Band's musical selections included, among others, Claire Grundman's Spirit of 76, Steven Reineke's Main Street Celebration, two Sousa marches, and the appropriate North Bridge Portrait, written for the Concord Band in 1999 by Stephen Bulla. The piece beautifully evokes the special nature of the North Bridge area and the events that occurred there on April 19, 1775, including the Shot Heard Round the World. The Band thanks Superintendent Dunn and his staff for their support. The concert was a great way for the Band to transition from its own 60th anniversary to the new 2019–20 season of music in Concord.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Minute Man National Historical Park 60th Anniversary Program

The Concord Band performing at the North Bridge Visitors' Center of Minute Man National Historical Park (formerly called the Buttrick Estate) in the summer of 1975, led by the Band's first Music Director, William Toland.
The Concord Band is honored to have been invited to present a concert to celebrate the Minute Man National Historical Park’s 60th anniversary.  The concert will be on the field above the North Bridge in Concord at 4:00 pm on Saturday September 21, 2019.  Dignitaries will be present to make remarks during the concert.  The concert is free and open to the public.  In the event of rain, the concert will be held at 51 Walden/The Performing Arts Center in Concord.

Emblazoned JoyRoger Cichy
Commissioned by The Concord Band in 2019
National AnthemF. S. Key
King CottonJohn Philip Sousa
Main Street CelebrationSteven Reineke
Themes Like Old TimesWarren Barker
National Emblem MarchE. E. Bagley
The Spirit of '76Clare Grundman
Proud HeritageWilliam Latham
Alexander's Ragtime BandIrving Berlin
North Bridge PortraitStephen Bulla
Commissioned by The Concord Band in 1999
Best Broadway MarchesJames Christensen
Star Spangled SpectacularJohn Cacavas
The Stars and Stripes ForeverJohn Philip Sousa

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

Newsletter subscribers receive our free Summer Season Postcard
Concord Band Summer Season schedule card

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Summer Concert Series

Concord Band Summer Series Poster

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Picnic in the Park Independence Day Concert

Join the Concord Band and The Town of Concord for the annual Fourth of July Picnic in the Park.  Everyone is welcome. Plenty of fun things to do for adults and kids of all ages, and a perfect time to relax on the grass (bring a chair), have a picnic, and listen to fabulous music. A perfect way to spend Independence Day!

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