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 2002


  • Winter Concert
  • Soloists from Air Force Band of Liberty Featured
  • McManus Retires from Belmont Public Schools
  • Slide! Meet the Concord Band Trombone Section
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events

  • Winter Concert

    Saturday, March 2

    The Concord Band's annual Winter Concert will take place at 51 Walden Street in Concord on Saturday, March 2nd, at 8:00 PM. The concert will open with a brilliant new march by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost entitled Minerva. This is not a street march, but a concert march in the style of William Walton's Crown Imperial and Van der Roost's own Mercury and Arsenal.

    The Concord Band has a long tradition of performing many of the classic works of the concert band repertoire by such great British conmposers as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. The Second Suite in F was composed by Holst in 1911. Unlike his First Suite in E♭, Holst's Second Suite in F uses English folk songs and folk dance tunes throughout. The Suite has four movements, each with its own distinctive character.

    In addition to performing well-known marches, the Concord Band enjoys introducing its audiences to lesser known and seldom heard marches. Karl L. King wrote nearly 300 compositions for band, including 188 marches. While marches such as Barnum and Bailey's Favorite, Trombone King and Purple Pageant are among King's most popular, the Concord Band is proud to offer one of King's less familiar marches, Kentucky Sunrise. It is a delightful piece, full of syncopated rhyths characteristic if the ragtime music that was so popular early in the 20th century.

    For the first time ever, the Concord Band will feature a soloist from the United States Air Force Band of Liberty. We are pleased to welcome Airman First Class John Garcia (see related story) to the 51 Walden stage to perform Jim Curnow's Rhapsody for Euphonium. Originally written by the composer as a teaching piece for his own euphonium students, Curnow dedicated this piece to the memory of his teacher, Leonard Falcone, Director Emeritus of Bands at Michigan State University. Since its release in 1978, Rhapsody for Euphonium has become a very important part of the euphonium literature.

    The first half of the concert will close with David R. Holsinger's On an American Spiritual. Holsinger has composed several other works for band based upon hymnsongs, including On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss and On a Hymnsong of Lowell Mason. On an American Spiritual, with its chaotic and brutal center section, is a surprising departure from these other compositions.

    To open the second half of the concert, the Concord Band's Assistant Conductor, Christopher Morehouse, will take the podium to lead the band through a performance of the Spanish march, Sol y Sombra, by George Glass. Sol y Sombra is a wonderful paso doble style march which deserves to be performed more widely. It was recently recorded by Frederick Fennell on his CD, Marches I've Missed.

    In the past several years, the Concord Band has performed a number of compositions by contemporary American composer Frank Ticheli, including Cajun Folk Songs, Amazing Grace and most recently, Shenandoah. For this concert, Christopher Morehouse has selected one of Ticheli's newest works for concert band, Cajun Folk Songs II. Concord Band Music Director Emeritus William Toland conducted Cajun Folk Songs (I) at the Band's Winter Concert in 1993.

    Music Director McManus will return to the podium for a performance of an arrangement for two euphoniums and band of the melody to the song Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms, an early 19th century poem by Irish barrister Thomas Moore. Airman First Class John Garcia will be joined by Airman First Class Eric Spinelli, who also plays euphonium in the Air Force Band of Liberty (see related story).

    Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great American composer Richard Rodgers, the Concord Band will close the concert with a performance of a suite from Rodgers' Victory at Sea—music from the NBC television production of the same name. This work was transcribed for band by Robert Russell Bennett.


    Soloists from Air Force Band of Liberty Featured

    Airman First Class John Garcia

    The Concord Band is pleased to welcome to its stage at 51 Walden Street in Concord two musicians from the Air Force Band of Liberty, based at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts. Airman First Class John Garcia II will be featured in a performance of Jim Curnow's Rhapsody for Euphonium. Airman Garcia hails from Roanoke, Virginia, and is a euphonium player with the Air Force Band of Liberty's Concert Band and Ceremonial Brass. He attended Athens High School in Athens, West Virginia, from which he was graduated in 1994. While there, he performed Clarke's Carnival of Venice with his high school band and received the John Philip Sousa Band Award. He continued his studies at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV, attending on a full scholarship. In 1998 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis on Euphonium and Trombone Performance. During his undergraduate years, Airman Garcia performed James Curnow's Symphonic Variations for Euphonium and Orchestra with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and was named a Yamaha Young Performing Artist. In the fall of 1998, he entered the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as an Albert C. Yates Scholarship recipient, covering full tuition. Two years later he graduated with a Master of Music degree in Euphonium Performance.

    Airman Garcia entered the United States Air Force in October, 2000, and received his first assignment with the United States Air Force Band of Liberty. His wife Jennifer joined the first trumpet section of Concord Band last fall.

    Airman First Class Eric Spinelli

    Airman First Class Eric Spinelli, who also plays euphonium in the Air Force Band of Liberty, will join Airman Garcia onstage for a performance of Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms. Airman Spinelli, a graduate of Greece Athena High School, furthered his education at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance and Education in 1998. While there he performed with the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble during their one week tour of England and Ireland. Airman Spinelli then attended the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he was the recipient of the University Graduate Scholarship. He graduated with a Master's degree in Music Performance in 2001. His professional experience includes performing with Mr. Jack Daniel's Silver Cornet Band, the Harvey Phillips Tuba Company and the Cincinnati Wind Symphony. He joined the United States Air Force in May, 2001, and received his first assignment with the Air Force Band of Liberty.


    McManus Retires from Belmont Public Schools

    Concord Band Music Director, Dr. William McManus, has retired from his position as Director of Fine and Performing Arts in the Belmont Public Schools. After thirty-seven years as music director and then fine arts administrator, McManus has decided to devote his professional time exclusively to conducting and composing music. During his career in music education, Dr. McManus taught in North Syracuse, NY; Leicester, MA; Westborough, MA and Belmont, MA. His public school work also included many years of service to the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and MENC: The National Association for Music Education. He recently completed a term of office as President of the Eastern Division of the MENC. Dr. McManus has won many awards in recognition of his work in music education, including the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and the Conductor of the Year Award presented by the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductors Association.

    McManus plans to devote more time to composing and arranging music, especially for the Concord Band. He is currently working on an arrangement of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, which wil be premiered by the Concord Band at its Spring Pops Concerts in April (see schedule below).


    Slide! Meet the Concord Band Trombone Section

    In rehearsal at 51 Walden for March 2 concert. Left to right: Glenn Garvey, Mark Vincenzes, Peter Norton, David Tweed, Sam Reynolds and Andy Nichols.

    When it comes to proficiency, many would agree that among all instrument sections of the Concord Band, our Trombone section ranks very high—right at the top, in your editor's opinion. What makes this so impressive is that, while players of all wind instruments must form a proper embouchure (position of the mouth—lips, tongue and teeth) to play each note, instrumentalists other than trombonists need merely depress the proper key or keys on his or her instrument to do so. Trombonists, on the other hand, must position their slides (which can travel almost two feet) to an accuracy of 1/8 of an inch! Perhaps you're not as impressed with this as is your editor (who plays only non-melodic percussion instruments, which need merely to be struck—some would say banged—at the right moment), but if you've managed to get this far, please read on.

    The Concord Band's six trombonists have been with the Band an average of more than 16 years. Four have been with the Band for fifteen years or mor; a fifth, nine years. All but one were born in the Northeast (Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania); the sixth hails from Arkansas. All began their trombone studies as children and played in school ensembles at every stage of their education. Today, four play in more than one musical group. A few play more than one instrument; one even admitted to having played the accordion!

    All of the Band's trombonists are employed in greater Boston's high technology community in one way or another: four directly, one as a consultant and one as an attorney. Most of them also help, or have helped, the Band with extra-musical activities. Our trombonist/attorney has helped review the Band's bylaws and our Music Director's employment contract. Another edits our printed concert programs. Four participate regularly in the mundane tasks of getting this newsletter in the mail twice a year. One, who took over the task of managing the Band's website ( within the past year, joined our Board of Trustees in October.

    When asked to express the importance of the Concord Band in their lives, most of our trombonists mentioned the opportunity to remain active and motivated musically throughout the year and to play a wide variety of music—in an environment, as one put it, "that is friendly and relaxed, yet challenging." Anothe wrote, "there are lots of orchestras and small ensembles, but not many concert bands. For most wind players, playing in a good concert band is like coming home."

    So why is the trombone section such an asset to the Concord Band? It's really quite simple: They have all played their trombones for a long time, and they love doing it. They're not only good musicians, but they also willingly help with non-musical (but quite necessary) Band tasks. The bottom line is that the Concord Band has a bunch of dedicated trombonists who can really cut the mustard!

    THat dedication is exemplified by our trombonist/lawyer who wrote, "I have defended Monday evenings [rehearsal night] at all costs, including walking out of meetings to get to Concord. Once I had a closing in Philadelphia that was scheduled on the same day as a concert. I was flown back by the client in a private jet in time to play that evening."

    While none of the Concord Band's instrumentalists (trombonist or otherwise) is paid, it still costs about $40,000 a year to run the Band. If you'd like to help out financially, just write a check for as much as you can afford and slide it into the enclosed envelope. If you have no return envelope, simply send your check to the address at the top of this newsletter.


    Calendar of Upcoming Events

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

    Winter Concert

  • Saturday, March 2,
    For tickets call (978) 897-9969
  • Spring Pops

  • Friday, April 5, sponsored by the Concord Rotary Club.
    For tickets call Beth Sheldon: (978) 369-6100
  • Saturday, April 6, sponsored by the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary.
    For tickets call (978) 287-3019
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    This page last updated: 2008/3/8
    David Tweed, webmaster
    © Copyright 2002
    The Concord Band Association.