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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Concord Band Fall Concert of “Mystical” Band Pieces

Photo by Jonathan Daisy

Concord, Mass, October 9, 2015 — A concert with the theme “Mystical Moments” opens the Concord Band’s 57th season. A new twist by the Sudler Award-winning band this year is that the 8:00 pm Saturday October 24, 2015, concert will be free, although a donation would be appreciated. The Concord Band hopes this may encourage new audience members to enjoy the pieces that Music Director James O’Dell has selected. The featured mystical moment is nine movements from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana as arranged by John Krance incorporating the vocal parts into the concert band instrumentation and authentically preserving the emotional and musical intent of the original orchestral/vocal setting. The Krance arrangement includes the familiar O Fortuna at the beginning and end, many of the early movements, and the exciting music from the tavern. The Concord Band performed these movements with the Concord Chorus in 1974, but this is the first time the Band has played the exciting band-only arrangement.

In 1980, William E. Rhoads composed a band piece entitled Prelude and Dance of the Mystic Flames that according to the composer is “suggested by the piano preludes of Alexander Scriabin.” Noted Boston-area pianist Michael Lewin, who played Rhapsody in Blue with the Concord Band in 2013, listened to a recording of the Rhoads band piece and concluded it is based on Prelude in C, Op 13, No 1. As Lewin explained it, “for about half of it, it’s pretty literal, then the arrangement goes crazy, with drums, etc., and then repeats with all the embellishment.”

Incantation and Dance was the first published piece of the 20th century band composer John Barnes Chance. It consists of two contrasting sections. The Incantation is a short, mournful melody, full of mystery, which gradually builds to a ferocious conclusion. The Dance also begins quietly, moving to a complex rhythmic pattern in the percussion, and culminating in a frenzied dance. The piece keeps six percussionists and the rest of the band quite busy.

Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was made popular in the Disney classic Fantasia and has been arranged for band by Mark Hindsley. The programmatic piece tells the story of an apprentice whose inexperience gets him into trouble. Played by Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, the apprentice’s bumbling spell creates musical excitement of marching broomsticks and more water than he could handle until the sorcerer returns to break the spells – and reprimand the apprentice. Hindsley’s band arrangement places much of the difficult orchestral violin and viola writing in the band flute, oboe and clarinet parts. The lower woodwinds also get a workout in this charming piece.

Another mystical moment will be the first performance of Chernomor’s March from Mikhail Glinka’s setting of the 1842 opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila, arranged for band by Concord Band clarinetist Jerry Vabulas. Jerry lives in Acton and has been in the Concord Band since 2012. When Jerry heard about the “Mystical Moments” theme, he arranged the march which Music Director Jim O’Dell sees as a perfect fit in the concert. Indeed, in the opera, Chernomor is an old dwarf with a long white beard who is also an evil sorcerer and the march portrays Chernomor and his profound sense of self-importance.

Old Churches by American-born composer Michael Colgrass is an original work based on early Gregorian chants. The Gregorian chant is one of the earliest forms of notated music, using free flowing rhythms and simple melody. In Old Churches, Colgrass uses these elements to create an aura of voices echoing in unison call and response chant melodies in a monastery.

Of his countless marches, the instrumentation of John Philip Sousa’s Nobles of the Mystic Shrine is unique, as it includes harp, multiple triangles, and tambourine. The inclusion of these non-traditional marching band instruments provides a setting, texture, and style derived from the clanking and chiming Turkish music associated with the Shriners, previously known as the “Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”. Sousa composed the colorful march to commemorate his admission to the Shrine Temple Almas in Washington DC in 1922. He conducted the première with an enormous band of 6200 Shriners in Washington’s Griffith’s baseball stadium.

Jim O’Dell begins his seventh year as the Concord Band’s third music director. “Mystical Moments” will be held at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden in Concord at 8:00 pm on Saturday October 24, 2015 and remember, admission is free, although a donation would be appreciated. More information is available on the Band’s website The Concord Band is sponsored in part by grants from the Concord, Harvard, and Bolton Cultural Councils.

For additional information, contact Ken Troup, Concord Band Publicity. Visit our website at

This page last updated: 2015/10/9
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