Concord Band Logo The Concord Band
Box 302, Concord, MA 01742
Tel: 978-897-9969

Notes from the Concord Band

Notes from the Concord Band
Since 1959 P.O. Box 302, Concord MA 01742
Fall 2003


Fall Concert

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.


Paul Berler
assistant conductor
saxophone soloist

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 Groton.

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 Conservatory.

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 season.

Mr. Berler has also been a regular columnist for the magazine Saxophone Journal. He currently resides in Plaistow, New Hampshire with his wife Cheryl.


Carl Getz
Robert Turkington

Lifetime Service Awards to Getz and Turkington

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 organization.


Concord Band on CD

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 Tuba Concerto.

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 retail locations.


It's Time to Make Your Concord Band Holiday Pops Reservations

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.


Keep the Music Alive

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 to us.

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 years—even 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 band—something 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
  • Annuities
  • 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 newsletter.


Upcoming Events

At 51 Walden Street, Concord, 8:00 pm.

Saturday, November 1
Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13
for reservations, call (978) 897-9969


This page last updated: 2007/2/11
David Tweed, webmaster
© Copyright 2003
The Concord Band Association.