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 Winter/Spring 2000


  • Tuba Virtuoso Kenneth Amis to Perform
  • Winter Concert
  • What Is Special About The Concord Band
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events
  • Concord Band Members Honored at Holiday Pops
  • Summer Schedule
  • In Memorium: Richard O'Connor

  • Mr. Kenneth Amis
    Kenneth Amis
    Guest Artist, Tuba

    Tuba Virtuoso Kenneth Amis to Perform

    In keeping with its long tradition of presenting outstanding guest soloists, the Concord Band is proud to feature tuba virtuoso Ken Amis at its Winter Concert on March 4th. Mr. Amis was born and raised in Bermuda. He began playing the piano at a young age and upon entering high school took up the tuba and developed an interest in performing and composing music. A Suite for Bass Tuba, composed when he was 15, marked his first published work. A year later, at age 16, he enrolled in Boston University where he majored in composition. After graduating from Boston University, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music where he earned a Masters Degree in composition.

    Mr. Amis has been commissioned to write for the annual Cohen Wing opening at Symphony Hall in Boston, the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductors Association, the Belmont High School Symphonic Band, the Gardener High School Band, the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and the College Band Directors National Association. Ken has composed a number of works for band including The Reckoning, Sinfonia Concertante, Grenadiers of Liberty, The Playground Ball, and Rondo alla Kolo.

    As a tuba player, Mr. Amis has performed as a soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra and has been a member of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra and the New World Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the faculties of Boston University, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Pacific Music festival in Japan. Ken is presently the tuba player of the Empire Brass and occupies the International Brass Chair at the Royal Academy of Music in London.


    Dr. William McManus
    Dr. William McManus
    Music Director

    Winter Concert

    On Saturday evening, March 4th, the Concord Band will present its first concert of the new millennium under the baton of Music Director Dr. William McManus. The concert will take place at 51 Walden Street in Concord beginning at 8:00 PM.

    The concert will open with an exciting overture for band by Claude T. Smith entitled Emperata. This work begins with a fanfare-like statement by the brass and percussion followed by a lyrical theme played by the clarinets. The middle section of the work features a beautiful flute melody which will be played by flute section leader, Marianne Leonard. The restatement of the opening themes highlighted, by a change of key, brings this work to an exciting finish.

    Following the opening overture, the Band will perform Della Cese's Little English Girl (L'Inglisina). While the title might suggest that this is a British style piece, it is written in the classic Italian March style similar to Fucik's Florentiner March, which has been performed by the Concord Band frequently. This symphonic march, first published in 1946, is one of the most delightful and musically expressive Italian marches available to bands. The trio is strong enough and different enough to stand on its own. The artistry of scoring, coupled with the nature and construct of the melodic lines in this little masterpiece, makes playing and hearing this march a special musical experience.

    The Concord Band will welcome Guest Artist, Ken Amis (see article) to perform Art Dedrick's A Touch of Tuba and the classic Tuba Concerto composed by Edward Gregson. A Touch of Tuba is a delightful piece for tuba and band which Dedrick dedicated to composer and arranger Harold L. Walters. This charming composition features a variety of styles including a dance band style swing section. The Gregson Tuba Concerto is a three movement work following the usual quick-slow-quick pattern. Originally written for brass band, and subsequently for orchestra, this work was commissioned by the "Besses o' th' Barn Band" with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain. It is dedicated to John Fletcher, who gave the first performances of the wind band version in 1984 in Bergin, Norway, and in Manchester, England.

    The Band will open the second half of the concert with a performance of John Williams' Symphonic Marches, a delightful setting of three of the composers' most popular movie marches, arranged by John Higgins and orchestrated by Paul Lavender. The marches include "The Raiders March," "The Imperial March", and "Olympic Fanfare and Theme." Williams composed the "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

    Mr. Christopher Morehouse
    Christopher Morehouse
    Assistant Conductor

    Concord Band Assistant Conductor Christopher Morehouse will take the podium to conduct a performance of Jan Van Der Roost's delightful work, Pustza (Four Gypsy Dances). Van Der Roost is representative of a growing number of European composers whose music is being played in the United States. Born in 1956 in Duffel, Belgium, and educated at the Royal Music Conservatories of Antwerp and Ghent, Van der Roost currently resides in Antwerp, Belgium, with his wife and four children. Puszta, a four movement suite close ly related to the Hungarian Dances of Brahms and Slavonic Dances of Dvorak, is the first of Van Der Roost's compositions to be performed by the Concord Band.

    A little Latin flavor will be added to the concert with a performance of Tamboo composed by Francesco Cavez and arranged for band by Floyd Werle. This exciting Samba features an extended opening clarinet cadenza played by Lorraine Chase followed the main theme played by flutist Marianne Leonard.

    The concert will close with a performance of Pas Redouble composed by Camille Saint-Saens, arranged for band by Arthur Frackenpohl. This "quick-step" concert march is reminiscent of Offenbach and perhaps is related to the 19th century galop.


    Calendar of Upcoming Events

    Concerts will be held at 51 Walden, Concord, at 8:00pm.

    Winter Concert

  • Saturday, March 4,
    For tickets call 978-897-9969
  • Spring Pops

  • Friday, March 31, sponsored by the Concord Rotary Club.
    For tickets call 978-371-6446 ext. 11
  • Saturday, April 1, sponsored by the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary.
    For tickets call 978-287-3019
  • [Contents]

    What Is Special About The Concord Band

    There are many things that distinguish the Concord Band from most other community bands. Our membership comes from more than 30 area towns, probably more than most other bands. Most bands have no permanent home to house their equipment and music library, and have to rely on local schools for concert venues. The Concord Band has not one, but both indoor and outdoor permanent homes (51 Walden and Fruitlands). We play 15 concerts a year...quite a few. We have had only two music directors since 1962. We bring in many highly regarded soloists and guest conductors. All of these things are important, of course.

    What makes the Concord Band unique, however, is our 25-year history of com mis sioning new works for the symphonic wind ensemble. Why is this important? The modern symphony orchestra can trace its roots back four centuries or more, and orchestras still play works from the 17th century frequently. The concert band, on the other hand, came into existence only about 75 or 80 years ago. Its literature, therefore, is very small in comparison to that of the orchestra. While it is true that composers write for the concert band without invitation, the most unusual and important new works come about as the result of paid commissions. There are very few professional concert bands in the world. The major military bands commission new works as do a number of college bands.

    Among community bands, however, the Concord Band is unique, having commissioned 14 new works for our medium, beginning in 1975. The town of Concord funded our first commission in conjunction with the Bicentennial celebration. The selection of composers and composition categories has been, for the most part, the responsibility of our Music Directors, first William M. Toland (now Music Director Emeritus) and William G. McManus. Many of the works commissioned by the Concord Band have become standard concert band repertoire. Listed below are the works commissioned by the Concord Band and their dates of first performance.

    7/17/75 Norman Dello Joio, Satiric Dances for a Comedy by Aristophanes for Concert Band
    3/10/84 Concord Band 25th Anniversary Concert
    • John Bavicchi, Concord Bridge
    • Richard Cornell, Solar Prominences
    • David Del Tredici, arr. William M. Toland, Arguments in the Jury Chamber (Fuga) from Final Alice
    • Peter Hazzard, Silver Jubilee Overture
    • Cheryl Linder, Concord Band March
    • Kurt Phinney, Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Band
    • Robert Sirota, Concord Suite
    • Douglas Toland, Prelude, Fanfare and March
    3/7/87 James E. Curnow, Five Concord Diversions
    10/22/88 James E. Curnow, Welsh Variants
    10/26/91 Warren Barker, Triumphant Entrance
    4/2/93 John Higgins, Back in the Good Old Days, for SATB chorus or barber- shop quartet and band.
    12/9/94 James E. Curnow, Overture to a Winter Festival
    3/2/96 Thomas J. McGah, Reflections of Emerson
    11/1/97 Daniel P. Lutz, Dichotomy...Impressions of Kerouac
    11/7/98 Thomas J. McGah, Sunsets, in memory of Carol Anne Burdine
    3/6/99 Stephen Bulla, North Bridge Portrait
    10/30/99 William Gordon, Fanfare and Chorale, "Laudes Domini"

    You can help the Concord Band continue its mission of bringing the finest in concert band music to the community, both as a performing ensemble and as a significant motivating force in the creation of new music. Please send as much as you can afford to the masthead address.


    Our digitally-mastered
    Holiday CD

    Concord Band Members Honored at Holiday Pops

    At the Concord Band's recent Holiday Pops concerts to end the millennium, Santa Claus presented "humungous" candy canes to Band piccolo player, Laura Finkelstein, and sousaphonist Gene Parish. Laura, who has been with the Band for nearly three decades, was recognized for her contributions to the Band's fund-raising efforts, her past work in publicity and numerous other tasks. It is a photo taken by Laura that adorns the cover of the Band's first CD, A Winter Festival (left). Gene, a founding member of the Band since 1959, has been on its board of directors, has been involved in fund-raising efforts, and even helps move equipment for the Band's hectic summer season. Gene also arranges retail distribution of the Band's CD.


    Summer Schedule

    Mark your calendars and plan to enjoy some wonderful evenings with the Concord Band this summer. The band will be performing at its sum mer home at Fruitlands Museums in Harvard, with a six-concert Thursday evening schedule: June 22 and 29, and July 5, 12, 19 and 26. The Fruitlands Concerts begin at 7:30pm. Picnicking on the lawn beforehand has become a tradition. Pack your own picnic or buy it at the concert. The income from parking fees is shared by the Band and the Museum. The Band will be returning to Belmont's Payson Park Music Festival on Wednesday, June 28, beginning at 7:00pm. As usual, the Band will be performing at Concord's annual Picnic in the Park on the Fourth of July beginning at 3:00pm.


    In Memorium

    Long-time Concord Band alto saxophonist Richard O'Connor passed away this past September. He had been a member of the Band since 1967. An enthusiastic free lance musician, Richard played with many community and professional musical groups. In addition to the Concord Band, he played in the Tri-County Symphonic Band of Mattapoisett, the Nevers Second Regiment Band of Concord, NH, and the Framingham Concert Band. He had performed frequently with the Civic Symphony of Boston, the North Shore Philharmonic and the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra. While in the service, he was assigned to the Army Bands at Fort Devens and Fort Monmouth. Dick was a devoted member of the Concord Band and rarely missed a rehearsal or a performance. Over the years, he frequently appeared as a soloist with the band, most recently performing Harlem Nocturne at Fruitlands in Harvard and at the Payson Park Music Festival in Belmont. One long-time member particularly remembers Dick's solo several years ago in the band transcription of Lalo's Roi D'Ys Overture, where the original 'cello solo was replaced by alto sax. "It brought tears to my eyes," he said.


    This page last updated: 2008/1/26
    David Tweed, webmaster
    © Copyright 2000
    The Concord Band Association.