Saturday, November 1, 8:00 pm
The Concord Band, under the batons of Music Director Dr. William McManus
and Assistant Conductor Paul Berler, will kick off its 2003-04 season with
a concert featuring original band works and transcriptions of orchestral
works by some of the world's greatest composers. The Fall Concert will
be held at the Band's home at 51 Walden Street in Concord on November
1st, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The concert will begin with a stirring march by the great British
composer Sir Edward Elgar entitled Pomp and Circumstance, Military March
No. 2, transcribed for band by Elgar and M. Retford. Elgar wrote five
symphonic marches with the same name, differentiated only by their numbers.
All five reflect the pomp and power of the British Empire around the
beginning of the twentieth century.
The second work on the program, also by a great British composer, is the
English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams. This
three-movement work is one of the classics of the concert band repertoire
and one of the mainstays of British band music.
Assistant Concord Band Conductor Paul Berler will be the featured alto
saxophone soloist in a performance of Clare Grundman's Concertante for
Alto Saxophone and Band. Grundman is best known for his arrangements
for band such as his four American Folk Rhapsodies and such works
as Concord, Fantasy on American Sailing Songs and
The Blue and the Gray.
The first half of the concert will close with a performance of
Huldigungsmarsch (Homage March) by Richard Wagner. Wagner wrote very
few original works for wind ensemble. This piece, actually more of an
overture than a march, is considered by many to be Wagner's principal
contribution to music for winds.
Concord Band Assistant Conductor Paul Berler will open the second half
of the concert leading several works with a Halloween theme. The spookiest
night of the year takes place on October 31st, the day before the
concert. The first selection is Dance of the Witches by composer
John Williams, transcribed for band by Paul Lavender. This work is the main
theme from the film "The Witches of Eastwick." The Dance will be
followed by a performance of the exciting Night on Bare Mountain by
the Russian composer Modeste Moussorgsky, who is generally acknowledged to
have been the most daring and talented member of a group of Russian
composers known as "The Russian Five." Best known for his vocal music,
Moussorgsky wrote no sonatas, concertos or symphonies. Night on Bare
Mountain is primarily a musical painting. This great orchestral work
was transcribed for band by Mark Hindsley.
To close the concert, Dr. McManus will return to the podium for a
performance of John Barnes Chance's esteemed Incantation and Dance.
Of this piece, R. John Specht of the Queensborough Community College writes,
"Incantations are uttered in rituals of magic, demonic rites, the conjuring
up of spirits evil and benign. And when the spirit comes and the worshiper
is possessed, there is dancing, wild and abandoned." This composition,
which begins full of mystery and expectation, winds up in a shattering
climax of exultation.
Following the concert, a reception will be held in the lobby of 51
Walden. The audience is invited to enjoy refreshments while meeting the
Music Director, soloist/Assistant Conductor and Band members.
Assistant Conductor Paul Berler to Solo with Band
Assistant Concord Band Conductor Paul Berler will be the featured
soloist at the Band's upcoming Fall Concert, performing Clare Grundman's
Concertante for Alto Saxophone and Band. Mr. Berler was appointed
Assistant Conductor of the Concord Band last year and has recently been
appointed Band Director at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School in
An accomplished saxophonist, Paul holds a Bachelor's degree in music
education from the University of New Hampshire, and a Master of Music
degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. He studied conducting
with Stanley Hettinger at UNH and Frank Battisti at the New England
Paul has been playing and teaching the saxophone for more than twenty
years. His performing career has taken him all over New England, playing
with both large and small ensembles. Mr. Berler specializes in contemporary
music and has performed pieces by such leading contemporary composers as
John Harbison, Gunther Schuller, and Donald Morrison. His teaching career
has developed into a private studio of more than twenty students in
Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. His students
consistently win the highest marks in District and All-State auditions as
well as in solo and ensemble festivals.
Before coming to Groton, Mr. Berler had directed high school music
programs in Pembroke, New Hampshire; Londonderry, New Hampshire; and
Chelsea, Massachusetts. Paul is currently in his third season as Music
Director of the Chelmsford Community Band. He had been Assistant Conductor
of the Chelmsford Band for four years before assuming the Music Director's
position. Last summer Paul stepped in to conduct the last two weeks of the
Concord Band's summer season at Fruitlands Museums when Music Director Bill
McManus underwent shoulder surgery and was unable to complete the
Mr. Berler has also been a regular columnist for the magazine
Saxophone Journal. He currently resides in Plaistow, New Hampshire
with his wife Cheryl.
Last year the Concord Band Board of Directors introduced the Lifetime
Service Award, intended to honor individuals whose participation, over a
significant span of time, has made a fundamental difference to the Concord
Band. Each Award is expressed in the form of a brief paragraph summing
up that individual's contribution. An Honor Roll has been created and is
displayed prominently in the 51 Walden lobby to keep these individuals in
our collective long-term memory. The first two Awards went to Bill Burdine
and William M. Toland.
On November 1st, Concord Band Lifetime Service Awards will honor Carl
W. Getz and the late Robert E. Turkington.
Carl Getz, past President and Band Manager of the Concord Band, was
originally a flutist. In 1961, he attended a rehearsal to listen and decide
whether to purchase a new flute and join the Band. Asked if he played
percussion instruments, Carl said no, but he agreed to sit in with the Band
to learn how. With the encouragement, advice, patience and friendship of
Music Director William Toland, Carl played the bass drum, cymbals, mallet
instruments and what he liked to call "kindergarten toys" until his
retirement in 1996. For 35 years, Carl's musicianship and leadership proved
him to be a devoted and tireless Band and Board member for generations of
others to emulate.
Throughout his 38 years as trumpeter with the Concord Band, Robert
Turkington served in many capacities, from Band Manager to Treasurer.
Whether in his regular seat toward the back of the Band or soloing up front
with a brass quintet or Dixieland group, Bob was a solid performer. A
persevering worker behind the scenes and an enthusiastic ambassador for the
Band, he willingly undertook many assignments, often with his family's
help, as when his wife Jean organized the annual Holiday Pops. From his
first rehearsal in 1960 until his death in July 1998, Bob contributed
immensely to the Band's distinction as an outstanding community music
A great choice for holiday gift giving, the Concord Band's first two
CDs will be available from the Band and at area retail stores. The
Band's first CD, A Winter Festival, was published in 1997. Among the
pieces on this CD is Overture to a Winter Festival by James Curnow
(in its premiere performance), a piece commissioned by the Concord Band.
The CD also includes two Leroy Anderson favorites, A Christmas
Festival and Sleigh Ride, three collections of Chanukah
melodies, Victor Herbert's March of the Toys, a Christmas sing-along
and the powerful Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed.
Conducted by Music Director Emeritus, William M. Toland, the Band's
second CD, The Best of the Concord Band in Concert: 1992-1994, was
published in 2002. It presents the work of twelve composers, including
Sousa, Holst, Fucik, Codina, Curnow, Gregson, Prokofiev, W. C. Handy,
Armstrong and Lewis. The Band's own Matt Stevens plays the Gregson
Both CDs, priced at $15 each, will be available at the Band's Fall
and Holiday Pops Concerts. Please call (978) 897-9969 for information on
Be sure to use the reservation card enclosed with this mailing to make
your reservations early for the Concord Band's annual Holiday Pops
concerts, to be held at 51 Walden on December 12th and 13th.
There's no better way to celebrate the holiday season than to enjoy
an evening of great music and fun in the festive 51 Walden holiday
atmosphere! Holiday Pops with the Concord Band has become a tradition with
many area families and sells out early. Plan a great evening out with your
family, friends and neighbors...and the Concord Band. Table seating is
priced at $15 per person ($60 for a table of four) and includes beverages
and snacks. Return your reservation card today! Reservations can also be
phoned in to (978) 897-9969.
Last spring the community learned of the passing of Frank Callahan, 81,
remembered by the Concord Band's old-timers as a retired baritone horn
player. Frank had retired so long ago that none of us could remember just
when he had last been part of our merry band, nor did any of us recall that
he had been a founding member of the Band back in 1959.
Just as saddened as we were to hear of his death were we surprised and
later gratified to read at the end of his obituary, "Memorial donations
may be made to The Concord Band." We were surprised because it had been
such a long time since Frank had retired from the Band; gratified because
among all of his activities and involvements during his 81 years, his
family believed that Frank's participation in the Concord Band meant so
much to him that he would have wanted his memory honored by a contribution
While it is not unusual to observe great dedication to the Band on the
part of a player, whether current or retired, we know that we have audience
members and other supporters who have followed us loyally for yearseven
decades. We are extremely grateful to all of those who support us
financially through annual gifts, as it now costs in excess of $40,000 each
year to run the Band.
While, with your help, we are able to raise the funds we require each
year through ticket sales, sponsored concerts, contributions and CD sales,
the establishment of an endowment would permit the Band to do certain
things significantly better and to undertake endeavors not currently
feasible. For example, these days an established composer of band music
with a nationwide reputation will require (and the Concord Band has paid)
$1,000 per performance minute of music.
While there are many competent composers available to us, to retain a
composer of international stature, who today typically concentrates on
works for symphony orchestra, is not feasible. This means that the
21st-century equivalents of Holst, Vaughan Williams, Persichetti, Giannini,
etc., are out of reach. Some years ago, we attempted to ask Leonard
Bernstein, in the twilight of his career, to write a piece for concert
bandsomething he had never done. His "people" responded that he was
too busy, but we almost certainly could not have afforded him. An endowment
might have made it possible. It could also fund a "composer in residence"
program, in which a carefully selected area composer would be funded for a
period (probably a year) to spend time with the Band in rehearsal, to meet
with the Board and to write one or more pieces that reflect the unique
spirit and character of the Band.
Other traditional purposes for which major gifts are granted to musical
organizations are the endowment of the Music Directorship and the chairs of
the principal players. Since the only paid positions in the Concord Band
are those of the Music Director and Assistant Conductor, player chair
endowments would be honorary, but would provide funds for the general
operation of the Band. The Band would also always welcome major gifts
intended to endow scholarships.
|Ways to Keep the Music Alive|
- Fund Commissions of New Works
- Endow Music Directorship/Principal Chairs
- Underwrite a Scholarship Competition
- Subsidize a Concert Tour
- Fund the Purchase of Needed Instruments/Equipment
|Forms of Bequests
- Appreciated Securities
- Cash Gifts
- Memorial Donations
To help keep the music alive once you, yourself, are no longer here,
please contact your attorney. To help in the here/hear and now, please
write a check for as much as you can afford and return it in the enclosed
envelope. Or simply send your check to the address at the top of this
At 51 Walden Street, Concord, 8:00 pm.
- FALL CONCERT
- Saturday, November 1
- HOLIDAY POPS
- Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13
for reservations, call (978) 897-9969