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.