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

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Concord Band Moves to Fruitlands for Summer Concert Series

Each summer for the past 21 years, Harvard residents have witnessed a migration unrivaled in the MetroWest area. Like clockwork at 7:30 on a Thursday evening in late June, the sound of dozens of wind and percussion instruments first rises from the Fruitlands Museum grounds, announcing the annual arrival of the Concord Band for their summer outdoor concert series. For six weeks (weather permitting), lively musical programs delight audiences of all ages, entertaining picnickers while the sun sets opposite Prospect Hill. Families, neighbors, and groups of friends from miles around all carpool or arrange to meet at Fruitlands to enjoy this unique summer diversion.

With six concerts in the series, the band begins rehearsing for the summer program in late April. Each week at Fruitlands, the band performs musical selections with a different theme, chosen by Music Director Dr. William G. McManus. This summer's themes will be "A Night at the Opera," "A Sousa Style Concert," "Independence Day Concert," "The American Songbook," "A Salute to New York," and "A Summer Retrospective." In addition to the preparation of six different musical programs, Dr. McManus arranges guest soloist appearances each summer. Assistant Conductor Paul Berler also prepares and leads the band for one or more concerts in the series. The musicians themselves eagerly anticipate performing in the unique Fruitlands setting to the large, enthusiastic audiences from many towns in the surrounding area.

The band's migration requires attention to detail not evident to the casual concert-goer. Well in advance of the first concert, Dan Diamond, the head of the Concord Band percussion section, begins marshalling his volunteers to arrange the transportation of an astounding array of equipment from the band's home at 51 Walden St. in Concord to 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard. Assisted by several other band members, Diamond coordinates the safe loading and unloading of timpani, bass drum, tam tam, xylophone, chimes, bongos, temple blocks, wind chimes, assorted cymbal stands, hi-hat, and twelve music stands for the percussion section and soloists.

Each week additional accessories are hand-carried out to Fruitlands: Dan's snare drum, sticks and mallets, crash and suspended cymbals, glockenspiel, triangles, tambourines, castanets, and wood block. The extensive percussion inventory is critical for the wide range of musical styles performed by the band, from Dixieland to operatic classics.

In addition to the percussion section's overall needs, percussionist Neil Tischler transports, sets up and breaks down his drum set for every performance that features Big Band, Dixieland, musical theater and other styles requiring his special talents. Along with their own instruments, each band member brings a music stand and clips or full sheet covers to counteract the whims of the summer breezes. The band's newly-selected announcer, Nat Hefferman, offers his commentary as the "Voice of the Concord Band." Audio engineer Ray Kelly (KEL Sound) manages the impressive amplification system for each concert. The Fruitlands Museum provides the stage seating and lighting each week, as well as supporting staff and refreshment offerings. This entire team assembles each week to offer listeners a most rewarding musical journey.

Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. each Thursday (weather permitting, June 22 through July 27, at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard with opening acts at 7 p.m. Admission: $12 per car with parking on the grounds. Refreshments available. Handicapped-accessible. Call the Concord Band ticketline for more details each week: 978-897-9969.

This page last updated: 2006/8/2
David Tweed, webmaster
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