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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Concord Band Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Season Celebration with Guest Conductor and World Premiere

Concord, Mass., October 9, 2008 — The Concord Band begins the celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season with three of the things that have made it special over its first half-century: an internationally renowned guest conductor, the world premiere of a new piece for band, and a reprise of one of its favorite commissioned pieces. The October 25th concert will feature a world premiere performance of Four Songs Without Words on Poems of Kleist for Concert Band by Concord composer Michael Weinstein. Music Director William G. McManus has also invited former USAF Academy Band Director Steven Grimo to return as guest conductor.

In addition, the Fall Concert will continue the two-year-long presentation of the Band's best commissioned works as the Band prepares to create a CD of all these works. This concert includes Boston Liberties by Julie Giroux, commissioned by the Concord Band and first performed in March 2003. Boston Liberties is a four-movement work that celebrates Boston's role as the maritime center of America in Colonial days. The program will also include another Giroux composition, La Mezquita de Córdoba, as well as Parade of the Tall Ships, Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon, An Ellington Portrait, Porgy and Bess Selections, and March Madness.

Michael H. Weinstein, a Concord resident, has written more than fifty works for all kinds of ensembles, from symphony orchestras to choruses to brass ensembles. He is particularly committed to writing music for wind instruments and has received some of his most important commissions and performances in that genre. Dr. Weinstein is currently the chair of the music department at the Cambridge School of Weston, an Assistant Professor of Composition at the Berklee College of Music, and a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division in the Theory/Composition Department.

Dr. Weinstein was inspired to write a piece for band after meeting Armin Kopp, who directs an American-style concert band at the Kleist Schule, a middle school in Eschborn, Germany, where Weinstein has family roots. Since the school is named for Heinrich von Kleist, a German poet, Dr. Weinstein selected four of Kleist's poems on which to base his piece. Four Songs Without Words on Poems of Kleist for Concert Band was composed in 2003, but has yet to be performed because of its requirements for a full concert band instrumentation. Given the Concord Band's commitment to showcasing new music for band, Dr. McManus and Dr. Weinstein agreed that the Band would be ideal to present the premiere performance.

Dr. Steven Grimo is the Chairman of the Music Department at the Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Grimo retired from the United States Air Force in 2007 after a 22-year career that culminated with his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, serving as Commander and Music Director for The USAF Academy Band. Previous to his military service, he taught music for ten years in Massachusetts public schools. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the Catholic University of America. An internationally active guest conductor and clinician, he was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2006. Dr. Grimo last appeared as guest conductor with the Concord Band in March of 1997.

The concert begins at 8:00 pm in The Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord on Saturday, October 25. Tickets are $15 each ($5 for students and seniors) and are available at the door.

The Concord Band, founded in 1959, is one of the leading community concert bands in the United States. It is well known for its innovative programming and the exceptional quality of its commissioned pieces. It presents both formal and Pops concerts throughout the year. Thousands attend its summer concerts at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts, each year.

For additional information, contact Peter Norton, Concord Band Publicity. Visit our website at

This page last updated: 2008/10/12
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