Wednesday, September 1, 2021

2021–22 Concert Season

2021–2022 Season Poster

We are pleased to announce our 2021-22 concert season. Check out our season poster and mark your calendars as the Concord Band presents a return to live music at 51 Walden!

For information about COVID-19 mitigation, please visit 51walden.org

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Community Band Challenges

Like all the community music groups in the area, The Concord Band was unable to rehearse or perform live music during most of the pandemic. Our last concert as a full ensemble with a live audience was March 2020.

Clarinet quartet at
Fruitlands Museum, Harvard MA.

Despite lockdowns, the band worked hard to stay engaged and keep our musical skills active while staying safe throughout the long year. We held several Zoom meetings to educate each other on various musical topics. We individually recorded and mixed a virtual premiere of a newly commissioned march, The Diamond Baton.

Woodwind quintet at
Hastings Park, Lexington MA.

This summer, we organized ourselves into a wide variety of small ensembles to play some live outdoor concerts at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and Hastings Park Gazebo in Lexington. Unfortunately, multiple rain cancellations cut into that potential income.

Due to the lack of usual concert income and continuing costs of rent, insurance, and other unavoidable fixed costs, we anticipate being about $15,000 in the red this fiscal year. We are hoping to make up some of that shortfall through donations. We plan to return to a full season of live music starting in October at 51 Walden in Concord and would like to start that season on a firm financial footing. If you can help support us, all contributions of any amount are appreciated and tax deductible.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Summer Concerts at Hastings Park

Hastings Park Concert Poster

Members of the Concord Band are hard at work preparing for two concerts in Lexington MA. We look forward to playing for you this summer! Each concert will feature a variety of small ensembles from the Concord Band. The concerts, which are open to the public and free admission, will be at Hastings Park Gazebo on Thursdays, July 22 and 29, at 7:15 pm. Bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets as desired. (In the event of rain, the concert will be canceled.)

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fruitlands Museum Summer Series

Fruitlands Summer Series Poster

Members of the Concord Band are hard at work preparing four concerts to be performed at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Mass. Each concert will feature a different selection of small ensembles from the Concord Band. With the reopening, all adults will need an advance reservation ticket at this link (children are free), and family groups will be able to sit together.

Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket. There is plenty of room on the concert lawn for social distancing. All groups will have designated picnic areas. In the event of rain forcing cancellation, we will be able to rebook or refund any cancelled sales.

Fruitlands concerts are June 17, 24 and July 1, 8. We look forward to playing for you this summer!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Video Featurette: The Diamond Baton

In 2020, Roger Cichy wrote The Diamond Baton in recognition of Dan Diamond’s 50 years of service to The Concord Band. While the band has not yet had a chance to premiere the piece as a full ensemble due to the pandemic, Roger recorded most of the players individually and combined all the audio recordings. Ken Troup provided videos of players who recorded their parts at 51 Walden and Jean Patterson overlaid these videos with the audio track. The opening video clip features Dan Diamond playing a percussion solo at a previous concert. The video of our virtual creation of The Diamond Baton is now available on the Concord Band's You Tube Channel. The Concord Band has been thrilled to be involved in such an interesting virtual project.

Video Featurette of The Diamond Baton

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Conductor's Corner

James O'Dell
Music Director

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music (Again)

As we spring forward and resume outdoor music performances, the creative musicians of the Concord Band have assembled a fantastic variety of music presented by member chamber groups. From classical to pop, jazz to Dixieland, familiar favorites and well-known gems, the hills of the Fruitlands Museum will once again come alive with music! 

Each evening program will feature three small groups presenting their "set" interspersed with informative and interesting groups presenting about the music, composers, and each ensemble. Don't miss this special opportunity to pack a picnic dinner, support live music, Fruitlands Museum, and the many talented musicians of the Concord Band!

Musically Yours,
Jim O’Dell, Music Director
The Concord Band

Friday, May 21, 2021

Summer Performances at Fruitlands Museum

Dixieland Ensemble performs
at Fruitlands Museum
There is light (and music) at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel!

This spring, the band has started to rehearse in small groups in preparation for a summer series at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard (June 17, 24 July 1, 8 @ 7:15 pm) . Each Thursday concert will feature three groups from a diverse mixture of ensembles: brass, saxophone, horn, and clarinet quartets, a flute choir, a woodwind quintet, the Concord Band Jazz Ensemble, Dixieland and German Bands, a percussion ensemble, and a nonet. There should be plenty of entertainment to appeal to all musical tastes.

This year you must purchase your tickets online in advance from the Trustees of the Reservations. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members, children 12 and under are free. More information is available on the Fruitlands' website. We are looking forward to seeing you all again!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Virtual Quartet Performs Palestrina's “In Festo Transfigurationis Domini”

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Concord Band Virtual Quartet

After the Concord Band brass quintet virtual recording of Die Bänkelsängerlieder early in the pandemic, Concord Band members Peter Norton (trombone) and Cam Owen (horn) looked around for more music they could collaborate on virtually, and found a four-part hymn by the Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni da Palestrina: “In Festo Transfigurationis Domini”, arranged for three trombones and horn.

An interesting thing has happened during this pandemic year, as musicians turned from large-ensemble playing such as the band. During the fall and early spring, small ensembles have rehearsed and recorded outdoors. The winter months call for truly virtual groups, with individuals recording their parts indoors at home. With this situation has come the learning of new technology, and creative opportunities such as Peter taking on all three trombone parts. For this virtual performance we utilized an audio editor, Audacity, to bring together the different parts, and a video editor, Pinnacle Studio, to combine the finished audio, video recordings for each of the parts, background photos and other effects.

The far greater challenge than the technology, however, was working out the musical part of this project, getting away from the rigidity of the mechanics and finding a means to bring the give and take of an expressive performance, attending also to aspects of performance such as intonation and balance that come automatically and dynamically with a live performance. It took many iterations and a lot of experimentation and elbow grease!

On the music side, we take a lot of pleasure with the mixing of the four voices. This is a quiet work, rich in musical color and interest as parts come in and out. There are passages that start with the horn and dovetail to one of the trombone parts, which come through so nicely that there is only the change in timbre with the transition from horn to trombone. For us, the images forming the background should be rich in color, and soft—the grasses and early spring growth of our area.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Sicut Cervus by Giovanni da Palestrina

Peter Norton
Peter Norton
Musicians from the Concord Band have been finding ways to keep their music going. Here is a story from trombonist Peter Norton:

“During the pandemic, I have partly made up for the loss of playing live music by taking part in recording projects with the Concord Band and other groups. I was introduced to Sicut Cervus a few years ago at an event where I sang it in a group informally. I kept my copy of the music thinking it would make a good 4-part instrumental, and had entered the score into Sibelius [music scoring program], but didn't get a chance to play it with anyone before the pandemic. I was then able to transpose it on the computer to a range where I could play all four parts on trombone.  I made the recording using the [recording studio] program, Audacity. I recorded each part as a separate track, and then went back to re-record parts of it that needed more work. What made it a rewarding experience was that once I had some tracks recorded, playing new ones gave a sense of playing with other people.”

Sicut cervus is a motet for four voices by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The motet is a setting of Psalm 42:2-3 “My soul thirsts for God,” written for four voices, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Area 9 Quartet Performs Holst Second Suite

Area 9 Quartet (l. to r.): Sean Mix, Seychelle
Dunn, 
John Rabinowitz, Kangyi Liu
Some Concord Band members have been finding ways to rehearse in small ensembles while observing socially distant guidelines. Saxophonists John Rabinowitz (tenor) and Kangyi Liu (alto) recently performed the Holst Second Suite in F for Military Band outdoors with the Area 9 Saxophone Quartet. Sean Mix (soprano) and Seychelle Dunn (baritone) complete the quartet.

Area 9 also performed as guest artists with the Concord Band at our Spring Concert, "Festival de Música Española."

Second Suite in F (Op. 28, No. 2) by Gustav Holst

Area 9 Saxophone Quartet

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I. March: Morris Dance, Swansea Town, Claudy Banks
II. Song Without Words, "I'll Love My Love"
III. Song of the Blacksmith
IV. Fantasia on the Dargason