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............Published Semi-annually

Fall 1998 Newsletter

  • Soprano Donna Kearney Featured
  • Fall Concert
  • Holiday Pops
  • Western Tour
  • The Missing 86 Years
  • Robert E. Turkington
  • A Winter Festival CD
  • Calendar of Events
  • Previous Issues of Notes:

  • Winter/Spring 1998
  • Fall 1997
  • Winter/Spring 1997
  • Fall 1996
  • Winter/Spring 1996
  • Fall 1995

  • Soprano Donna Kearney Featured

    World Premiere of McGah Work Dedicated to Carol Anne Burdine

    Soprano Donna Kearney of Framingham will be the featured soloist in the world premier of a new work for soprano and band composed by Boston composer Thomas McGah. The new work, Sunsets, based on a poem by Carl Sanburg, was commissioned for the Concord Band by Bill and Nancy Burdine in memory of their daughter Carol. Carol, well known and loved by the members of the Concord Band, passed away last year. Donna sang at her memorial service in Lexington.

    Miss Kearney, a graduate in Music from the University of Massachusetts, has been performing throughout Massachusetts for several years, appearing with the Savoyard Light Opera Company, Turtle Land Playhouse, the Hovey Players, and Vokes Theater. She has performed for Boston's First Night Celebration with the Janus Opera Company. This fall, Donna will be performing in Turtle Lane Playhouse's pro duction of Carousel. This will be Donna's first appearance with the Concord Band. A repeat performance of Sunsets is planned for the Band's 1999 concert series at the Band's summer home, Fruitlands Museums in Harvard, Massachusetts.

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    Fall Concert

    Saturday, November 7, 8:15 pm

    The Concord Band, under the baton of Music Director, Dr. William McManus, will kick off its 1998-99 season with a Fall Concert on November 7th at the Band's home at 51 Walden Street in Concord.

    Tthe Fall Concert is one of two concerts each year that features classic repertoire from the concert band literature. The band will also perform popular musical selections at both the fall and spring concerts, as well as music that will challenge the Band and the audience alike.

    The concert will open with one of John Phillip Sousa's most loved marches, El Capitan. This march was extracted from the most successful of Sousa's operettas of the same name. Other marches on the program will include the great Radetzky March composed by Johann Strauss and arranged for concert band by Alfred Reed and Pascual Marquina's Espaņa Caņi, a Spanish march filled with the flair and bravura that is typical of the Spanish idiom.

    The Band will be performing two classics of the concert band repertoire, Robert Jager's Third Suite, and Peter Mennin's masterwork for band, Canzona. Robert Jager, one of the most prolific composers of concert band music in the country, has composed numerous commissioned works for high school and college bands. Third Suite is a charming three-movement work full of fun and bright tunes. Canzona, on the other hand, is the only piece for band composed by Peter Mennin, one of America's most gifted composers. His many works include seven symphonies, works for chamber orchestra, concertos, cantatas and choruses. Commissioned by famous bandsman Edwin Franko Goldman, Canzona uses the reeds and brasses of the band in alternate tonal blocks creating a stunning twentieth century work reminiscent of the early Baroque canzona so brilliantly exploited by Gabrieli (1555-1612) at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Venice.

    One of the highlights of this concert will be the premier of a new work for band and soprano by Boston composer, Thomas McGah (see story).

    Transcriptions of orchestral music, especially music from operas, have long been an important part of the Concord Band's repertoire. This year, we have selected excerpts from Richard Wagner's opera, Die Meistersinger, scored for symphonic band by Eric Osterling.

    Long recognized for commissioning new music and performing music of local composers, the Band will be performing a new work by John Frantzen, a music teacher in the Belmont Public Schools. The work, titled Poem, was commissioned by the Marshfield High School Band in memory of William P. Selvitelle, Jr., a trumpeter in the band.

    As a lighter touch in the concert, the band will be performing Highlights from Sophisticated Ladies, featuring the music of America's great jazz composer, Duke Ellington. Another piece in a lighter vein will be the Tritsch Trastch Polka, a delightful little gem by Johann Strauss, guaranteed to put a tap in your toes and a smile on your face.

    Whether your taste in music is a Sousa march, opera, jazz, classics of concert band literature, or very contemporary mus ic for symphonic band, you are sure to find much to enjoy on November 7th. Don't miss it!

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    It's Time to Make Your Holiday Pops Reservations

    Be sure to make your reservations early for the Concord Band's annual Holiday Pops concerts, to be held at 51 Walden on December 11th and 12th. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than an evening of great music and fun in a festive holiday atmosphere? Concord Band Holiday Pops is a tradition in Concord and sells out early. Plan a great evening out with your friends and neighbors and the Concord Band. Table seating is available at $12 per person ($48 for a table of four; $72 for a table of six) and includes beverages and snacks. Don't be disappointed--return your reservation card today! Reservations may be phoned in to the Concord Band line at (978) 897-9969.

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    Western Tour

    On Saturday morning, June 20th, the members of the Concord Band boarded a bus and traveled to western Massachusetts to participate in the 1998 Berkshire Bandfest sponsored by the Eagles Band of Pitts field. Arriving in Pittsfield around noon, the band members spent the afternoon attending instrument clinics, roundtable discussions, and listening to other community bands. The highlight of the day was the Concord Band's performance in the late afternoon which was adjudicated by three college band directors, Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr. Director of Bands at the University of Massachusetts, Douglas A. Nelson, professor of music at Keene State College, and Eric Becher, Associate director of bands at the University of Louisville. The Concord Band received an extended standing ovation from the audience, primarily composed of musicians from the other bands attending the festival. After listening to the Concord Band's performance, adjudicator Malcolm Rowell wrote the following in his evaluation of the Band: This is a wonderful ensemble with a marvelous history. You perform with vigor, enthusiasm and pas sion, riveting not only one another but your audience! ... This organization is a cultural treasure! Before coming home Sunday afternoon, the band stopped in Springfield and presented a concert at Springfield's "Taste of Springfield Festival." The weekend trip did much to help band members get to know one another better and make new friends.

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    The Missing 86 Years

    Editor's note: The following paragraphs contains nearly factual information; the column ends with a plea for funds. Everything in between is an attempt at humor by our Fund Raising Chairman. Please address all complaints to him, directly.

    As everyone who has ever read this news letter knows, the Concord Band was found ed in 1959. But was it? While the committee to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Concord Public Library was conducting research into the Library's past, it was discovered that music was provided at the dedication of the Library in 1873 by ... The Concord Band! The anniversary celebration was held recently and included music performed by a chamber ensemble from within the Concord Band.

    Since nothing else could be found about the 19th century Concord Band, there has been much speculation as to why it disappeared.

    One school of thought suggests that the Band's performance at the library dedication was so strange, including as it did music not to be written for another century, that it was forced to choose between disbanding and explaining itself to Concord's Performing Arts Council. Perhaps it chose the former.

    Others suggest that it may have been the Band's instrumentation (3 bagpipes and a triangle) for which there were not many musical arrangements. There is vague evidence which suggests that two of the bagpipers doubled on violin, and the third on 'cello, while the triangle player could also play viola. Perhaps historical mentions of the Concord String Quartet refer to the Band's alternate instrumentation.

    Conspiracy theorists among us suggest that the Library dedication performance was so strange that the Band went underground at the request of President Ulysses S. Grant to emerge later as the US Marine Band under John Phillip Sousa.

    A much more likely scenario is that the Band was unable to raise the funds necessary to stay in operation.

    Please help the Band avoid another 86 missing years and, in so doing, make it possible for the Concord Band to continue to bring to the community the best in concert band music: Write us a check and send it in the enclosed envelope. If you have no such envelope, please send your contribution to the masthead address.

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    Robert E. Turkington

    The Concord Band lost a valued and much loved member when Robert E. Turkington died on July 26, 1998. With the Band since 1960, Bob contributed greatly to the Band's distinction as a community- based musical organization. In addition to his excellent trumpet playing, he assisted the Band in many capacities over the years, from serving on the Board to setting up the hall for performances, from working with his wife, Jean, to coordinate the annual Christmas Pops concerts to distributing the Band's new CD to area retailers. For many years Bob also coordinated the assignments of parts and solos within the the trumpet section. No matter what the task, Bob always did an outstanding and enthusiastic job for the Concord Band. It was no understatement when one of our members was heard to comment, "We lost the equivalent of five or six people when we lost Bob." The Concord Band extends our condolences to the Turkington family, and our thanks to the many friends who sent donations in Bob's memory.

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    A Winter Festival

    A Winter Festival Just in time for holiday gift giving, the Concord Band CD, A Winter Festival, will be available from the Band and at area retail stores. Among the pieces on the CD are Curnow's Over ture to a Winter Festival (in its premiere performance), 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. A Winter Festival, priced at $15, will also be available for purchase at the Band's Holiday Pops concerts on December 11th and 12th. Please call (978) 897-9969 for information on retail locations.

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    Concert Schedule

    Fall Concert
    Saturday, November 7 51 Walden, Concord, 8:15 pm
    Holiday Pops
    Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12, 8:00 pm
    Use enclosed card for reservations, or call (978) 897-9969.

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    This page last updated: 2001/5/28
    David Tweed, webmaster
    © Copyright 1998
    The Concord Band Association.