Thursday, June 1, 2023

Boston Festival of Bands

The Concord Band performs in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall.

Saturday, June 10, 2023. Have an outing in Boston shopping, eating, enjoying the city, and listening to some of New England's finest wind ensembles! MetWinds hosts its thirty-third annual Boston Festival of Bands. Hear many talented bands performing throughout the day in the heart of Faneuil Hall near Boston Harbor. Admission is free.

Faneuil Hall, Boston MA
Performance Times
11:00Seacoast Wind Ensemble
12:00Charles River Wind Ensemble
2:00Amherst Community Band
3:00American Band
4:00Chelmsford Community Band
5:00Concord Band

1 Faneuil Hall Square Boston MA 02109

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Show Must Go Outdoors

The audience was able to spread out and enjoy the music and the landscape during the Concord Band
outdoor concert last summer at the 21-acre Fruitlands Museum in Harvard MA.
(photo courtesy Catherine Shortliffe)

Nearly three years since the COVID pandemic shut down public events across the region, local arts groups have adapted by embracing or expanding the use of outdoor performance spaces.

“Creative people are problem-solvers,” said Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency that promotes inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences. “Creative makers can make any space a cultural space.”

“For us, it is about forward-thinking,” said Michael Busack, portfolio director of the 210-acre Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, a Trustees of Reservations property. “Our audiences are seeking a meaningful arts experience, but in a safer way. I remember in September 2020, our first outdoor concert was limited to 50 people, including the performers and staff. Afterward people came up to me in tears to say thank you.”

Since then, Fruitlands has continually expanded its 40-year-old outdoor concert program — doubling the number of events from six to 12 in 2022. A similar full schedule of outdoor concerts is planned for 2023.

“Utilizing public outdoor spaces to bring people together is important,” said Bobbitt. “Consumption of the arts at indoor venues is going be vulnerable for a number of years. “From the Berkshires to the oceanfront, Massachusetts has the most amazing diversity of outdoor performance spaces.”

Monday, May 1, 2023

Concord Band Awarded Mass Cultural Council Grant

The Concord Band is pleased to announce the Mass Cultural Council has awarded the band with a Cultural Sector Recovery Grant. These funds will provide much needed relief from financial losses incurred over recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We thank the Mass Cultural Council for their support.

Learn more:

Sunday, April 23, 2023

In Memoriam: Lloyd F. (Buck) Grace

Buck Grace

The Concord Band honors the memory of percussionist Buck Grace. A proud veteran of United States Navy, he served from 1945–1948 as an Aviation Machinist Mate, aboard aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge. After receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Buck's professional career spanned chemical engineering at U.S. Steel, industrial administration at Kennecott Copper Corp., and facilities services management at W. R. Grace & Co.

A talented mechanic, Buck built elaborate model train layouts in his basement and backyard. The garden railroad became a center of entertainment for family and friends, ultimately inspiring fascinating train travel for Buck and his wife, June, throughout the US and abroad.

Decades of intellectual and spiritual gatherings enriched Buck's life with enduring friendships and inspired his unabated curiosity. An avid walker, his quest for optimal aging aligned with his ability to find humor and positivity in life.

Buck displays custom percussion equipment.
A Depression-era upbringing shaped Buck's work ethic and sparked passions including music and a desire for lifelong learning. The son of a musician, Buck’s musical talents extended beyond voice and piano when in his retirement June, who in 1995 was a flutist and member of the Board, invited him to join. He became a percussionist, performing with the group as recently as last summer. Through on-the-job training, he mastered the crash cymbals and many accessory instruments.

Rolling stand base
Buck's mechanical skills were employed for constructing and perfecting unique percussion gadgets. When commercially available cymbal stands proved inadequate, Buck built a rolling base for the commercial stand to accommodate rapid instrument switch-ups that occur frequently in percussion parts.

Buck was highly regarded for his "can-do" spirit and aplomb under pressure. He was renowned for his punctual renditions of the "whip" in Sleigh Ride and remembered by audiences for his humorous performances, front and center, on cymbals and accessories in A Salute to Spike Jones.

Buck was commemorated together with other honorees in the In Tribute Concert on March 4th.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

In Memoriam: Dr. Daniel S. Diamond

Daniel S. Diamond, PhD

Members of the Concord Band mourn the passing of our long time percussionist and board member Dan Diamond. Among his many duties and contributions to the band were fundraising czar, editor of the newsletter, executive producer and publisher of the Band’s audio recordings on CD and video recordings on DVD.

To acknowledge Dan’s many contributions to the Band, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and in 2020 the Concord Band board commissioned The Diamond Baton from noted composer Roger Cichy.

More information about Dan’s life is in his obituary, and remember Dan's contributions to the Concord Band as you listen to the Band’s recording of The Diamond Baton premiere performance on YouTube.

Articles written by or about Dan Diamond

During his years as editor of our newsletter, Notes from the Concord Band, he authored a trove of articles. We present here a list of articles of general interest.

  • Roger Cichy Composes The Diamond Baton
  • Live Premiere of The Diamond Baton
  • Video Featurette: The Diamond Baton
  • Musical Inventions Necessitated by Being a Percussionist
  • Lifetime Service Award Given to Percussionist Daniel S. Diamond
  • Dan Diamond, percussion soloist
  • The Making of the Concord Band Concert Archive
  • Memoir: My Triumphant Two-Concert Tenure with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Meet the Concord Band Percussion Section
  • The Community Band Spectrum
  • Integrating Technologies to Magnify the Support of Our Mission
  • The Community Band with a Professional Attitude
  • Building the Concert Band Audience
  • Some of the Percussionists’ Less-Often-Called-For Instruments
  • Memoir: Senior Member Recalls a Lifetime of Service
  • Saturday, April 1, 2023

    Amanda Carr Returns to Spring Pops!

    Amanda Carr
    jazz vocalist

    Audience favorite jazz vocalist Amanda Carr returns as special guest artist to perform with the Concord Band for two special nights. The theme for the Pops concerts is "Moon and Stars."

    Reserved seating at cafe tables with 4 or 6 seats:

    • $30 per person for 1-3 tickets
    • $25 per person for 4 or more tickets

    Save your seats now!

    Buy Tickets
    Friday April 14 @ 8pm
    Sponsored by 51 Walden‌
    Buy Tickets
    Saturday April 15 @ 8pm
    Sponsored by the Concord Band

    Friday, March 17, 2023

    Spotlight: Amanda Carr

    Amanda Carr
    jazz vocalist

    As a vocalist, Amanda is an international recording and performing artist. She is a two-time Boston Music Awards Nominee, and her five jazz albums and live performances have received worldwide critical acclaim for her fresh interpretations of the Great American Songbook. The Wall Street Journal hailed her, "...a true jazz singer in a time of wannabes."

    Amanda is a headlining artist at jazz festivals from the US to Italy to Australia. While Amanda performs jazz concerts with artists like Michael Feinstein, she continues to tap into her roots of pop, blues, folk & rock. Amanda is frequent guest vocalist with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, Harry James Band and the Glenn Miller Orchestra and with many other artists and bands.

    As a songwriter, Amanda has contributed original compositions to her own albums, for TV and film productions, and on-demand for private events. In 2014, she wrote the The Boston Anthem, sung by Boston rock luminary Charlie Farren and released as a single.

    From 2012-2016, Amanda was the official CBS Radio color commentator for Boston's prestigious annual Boston Pops July 4th Fireworks Spectacular concert on the Esplanade. Amanda has appeared as a guest on the judging panel on the popular, long-running Community Auditions TV talent show. She traveled to China to represent the USA as a musical ambassador, performing hit songs by famous American pop artists in a series of theater shows.

    Amanda is a music teacher, formally educated, and has taught in a variety of academic settings. She currently offers specialized, private instruction: Vocal Lessons, Pop Vocal Ensemble, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Beginning Piano, and Songwriting. Amanda is an accomplished and in-demand mobile DJ and Master of Ceremonies at private events throughout New England.

    With five jazz vocal recordings, Amanda continues to perform as a solo artist while remaining a popular guest artist and guest host. A former Executive Director of WICN Public Radio in Worcester, MA,  she is currently a managing partner at Music Management talent agency, Boston.

    Saturday, March 4, 2023

    In Tribute

    Winter Concert

    Saturday, March 4, 2023 • 8:00 pm
    James O’Dell, Music Director and Conductor
    Link to Livestream


    Trumpet Trio
    Richard Given, Cindy Blanchard, Robert Pettipaw
    Fanfare for St EdmundsburyBenjamin Britten
    The Concord Band
    El Camino RealAlfred Reed
    arr. Robert Longfield
    ElegyWilliam McManus
    Saxophone Quartet
    David Southard, soprano; John Rabinowitz, alto;
    Judy Piermarini, tenor; Seychelle Corbin, baritone
    The Way You Look TonightJerome Kern
    arr. Kenneth Abeling
    PeaceDavid Maslanka
    CaravanDuke Ellington
    arr. Ed Puddick
    The Concord Band
    MasqueFrancis McBeth


    Horn Quartet
    Kathryn Denney, Jean Patterson, Casandra LaRochelle, Laura Bünger
    Eternal Father God to SaveWilliam Whiting
    arr. Claude T. Smith
    The Concord Band
    Chorale and AlleluiaHoward Hanson
    Flute Choir
    Katie Hock, piccolo; Roberta Nicoletta, first; Ellen Feldman, second;
    Kris Bankuti, third; Laura Finkelstein, alto; Debbie Franks, bass
    By Kells Watersarr. Kelly Via
    The Concord Band
    TributeDavid Gorham
    Celtic FarewellMichael Sweeney
    Amy McGlothlin, Bagpipes
    A Bernstein Tributearr. Clare Grundman
    View program notes...

    El Camino Real: A Latin Fantasy

    El Camino Real: A Latin Fantasy is based on a series of chord progressions common to countless generations of Spanish flamenco (and other) guitarists, whose fiery style and brilliant playing have captivated millions of music lovers throughout the world. These progressions and the resulting key relationships have become practically synonymous with what we feel to be the true Spanish idiom. Together with the folk melodies they have underscored, in part derived by a procedure known to musicians as the "melodizing of harmony," they have created a vast body of what most people would consider authentic Spanish music. (Source; Alfred Reed)


    William McManus composed Elegy in memory of William M. Toland, Music Director of the Concord Band from 1962-1995. The work opens with a solemn memorial theme played by solo trumpet accompanied by timpani, one of the many percussion instruments played by William Toland. After a brief transition section, clarinets and flutes introduce a hymn-like life-celebrating theme. Following several statements of this melody, the percussion section is featured with the timpani now playing a motive from the opening memorial theme accompanied by snare drum, bass drum and cymbals.  This section leads to a majestic restatement of the celebration theme by the full band. The work closes as it began with the memorial theme played by solo trumpet, but this time accompanied by a tolling chime.


    Masque by Francis McBeth is in a contemporary idiom familiar to followers of concert band music—not unusually experimental but nevertheless making use of twentieth-century devices. For example, Masque uses a variety of percussion instruments, has nontraditional harmonies, and makes use of short motifs for melodic interest. Two themes serve as the basic material for the entire piece; one is rhythmic, being heard only in the fast sections, and the other is a melodic three-note motif, which is developed during the entire course of the work. (Source; UNC, Greensboro, University Band concert program, 3 October 2016)

    Chorale and Alleluia

    Chorale and Alleluia was completed in January 1954, and was Dr. Howard Hanson's first work for symphonic band. The composition opens with a fine flowing chorale. Soon the joyous Alleluia theme appears and is much in evidence throughout. A bold statement of a new melody makes its appearance in lower brasses in combination with the above themes. The effect is one of cathedral bells, religious exaltation, solemnity, and dignity. The music is impressive, straightforward, and pleasingly non-dissonant, and its resonance and sonority are ideally suited to the medium of the modern symphonic band. (Source; Carl Fischer Music)


    Tribute by David Gorham opens with solemn and respectful material, the piece is both moving and expressive. As the work unfolds, the mood gradually ascends, almost visibly brightening, creating an uplifting feeling of hope and triumph. This wonderfully musical work will enhance any program with its expressive qualities that remind the listener of the strength of the human spirit to endure. (Source; Publisher)

    Celtic Farewell

    Music has the power to help us heal after the loss of loved ones. In Celtic Farewell composer Michael Sweeney combines the beloved traditional Scottish ballad “The Parting Glass” with an original melody to create a beautifully paced and sensitive musical memorial. A key element of this work is the use of highland bagpipes that adds to the Celtic flavor. (Source; Pepper Music Company)

    A Bernstein Tribute

    In A Bernstein Tribute, arranger Clare Grundman pays musical tribute to one of the greatest composers and musical personalities of our time. This colorful medley offers a wonderful opportunity to enter the world of Leonard Bernstein. Grundman's skillful adaptation includes excerpts from West Side Story (Prologue; Somewhere; Scherzo; Mambo), On The Town (The Great Lover; Times Square: 1944; Lonely Town), and excerpts from the Overture to Candide. (Source: Publisher)

    Saturday, January 14, 2023

    Winter Concert

    A memorial concert to honor Concord Band members whose musical legacy lives in our hearts and community. The program is both reflective and celebratory, capturing music that balances this delicate duality.

    The music includes an excellent arrangement by Clare Grundman of tunes from Leonard Bernstein's musicals West Side Story, Candide, and On the Town. The Band will also play Francis McBeth's Masque and Howard Hanson's Chorale and Alleluia, together with a reprise of Elegy, composed in 2012 for the Concord Band by Music Director Emeritus William McManus, in honor of our first Music Director, William M. Toland.

    The program will feature performances by small ensembles including a saxophone quartet, a horn quartet, and a trumpet trio, to commemorate former players of each section.