The Concord Band will be presenting the world premier of
Boston composer Thomas J. McGah's newest work
for concert Band, Suite of Irish Folksongs, at its
upcoming fall Concert on October 28th. This suite is a
five movement work based on Irish folksongs, some well known,
others much less so. The five songs are "The Kerry Dance,"
"Cockles and Mussels," "O'Donnell Aboo!,"
"My Lagan Love," and "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye."
In 1996, the Concord Band commissioned McGah to compose a work
for narrator and band titled Reflections of Emerson
which was premiered by the band at 51 Walden in Concord on March
2, 1996 with Peter Ross as narrator. The band
also performed this work at the 1996 Boston Festival of Bands. In
1998, McGah was commissioned to compose Sunsets for
soprano and band in memory of Carol Burdine,
daughter of Bill and Nancy Burdine.
This work was premiered at 51 Walden on November 7, 1998 with Donna
Kearney as soprano soloist.
Saturday, October 28, 8:00pm
The Concord Band will be celebrating the 100th anniversary
of the birth of one of America's greatest composers, Aaron
Copland, at its Fall Concert at 51 Walden Street in Concord.
The concert will open with a performance of Charles Carter's Overture
for Winds which was composed by Carter in 1959. Charles
Carter majored in composition at the Eastman School of Music In
Rochester, New York, and went on to become the arranger for the
Ohio University marching band and the Florida State University bands.
He has published numerous works for concert band.
Oboist Vanessa René will be featured in a performance
of Autumn Soliloquy by James Barnes. This composition is a
single movement work with an extended oboe cadenza. This will be
Vanessa's first appearance as a soloist with the Band (see
related article on page 2).
The first half of the concert will close with the premier
performance of Thomas J. McGah's newest work for concert
band, Suite of Irish Folk Songs. McGah has dedicated his
Suite to Concord Band Music Director, Dr. William McManus,
surprising Dr. McManus with a copy of the score late in the
Summer. Mr. McGah composed this work during a recent sabbatical
from Berklee College of Music, where he is a professor of
composition (see related article).
In honor of Copland's centennial, the Band will devote the
entire second half of the concert to the composer's music. Aaron
Copland, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1900, is recognized as one
of the most important composers of the 20th century.
His works for theater, ballet, and his symphonic works are
performed by major orchestras throughout the world. Compositions
such as Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy
the Kid, El Salon Mexico, and his 3rd
Symphony are part of the standard orchestral repertoire.
The band will perform four of Copland's compositions.
Copland's An Outdoor Overture, composed for orchestra in
1938 and transcribed soon thereafter for band by the composer.
The "outdoor" in the title stems from the spacious
chordal writing and the very high and very low sonorities
throughout. Copland said he wanted to make this piece sound
"optimistic" and "youthful in spirit."
Down a Country Lane is a lovely simple piece with a
gentle, pastoral quality. Composed for orchestra by Copland in
1962, this piece was transcribed for band by Merlin Patterson in
Variations on a Shaker Melody is a set of five
variations on the Shaker melody "Simple Gifts." This
work is an excerpt from the composer's score to the ballet Appalachian
Spring and was scored for band by the composer.
The concert will close with a performance of Lincoln
Portrait, a tribute to America's 16th President.
In this work, Copland combines the words of Abraham Lincoln with
his own musical ideas to create a powerful composition. Belmont
resident and former radio personality, Peter Ross, will
serve as narrator. This will be Mr. Ross' second speaking role
with the Band.
Concord Band oboist Vanessa René will make her first
solo appearance with the Concord Band at the Band's Fall Concert
on October 28th, performing Autumn Soliloquy
by James Barnes. Vanessa, a member of the Band since 1989, began
playing oboe at age 13. She has been principal oboe of the
Chelmsford Community Band since 1978 and has performed with the
Yankee Winds, the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, the Quincy
Symphony, the Laite Concert Winds, and the Bedford Chorale.
Vanessa has also played in pit orchestras for several Exit Stage
Right Company productions. Vanessa lives in Lowell with her
husband Larry and their three children, Katie, David, and Emily. Katie
René was the winner of the 1998 Concord Band Young
Artist Competition and is now attending Hartt College of Music in
Hartford, where she is majoring in music education.
The Concord Band held its first ever Awards Banquet on
Saturday evening, September 23rd at the Radisson Hotel in
Marlboro. This very special event provided an opportunity for
Band members to enjoy a social evening together and to be
recognized for their contributions to the Band. Members received
certificates in recognition of a number of aspects of their
participation in the Band. More than 40 were honored for their
years of membership in the Band. One founding member still plays
with the Band on a full-time basis. Other Band members were
recognized for outstanding service to the Band or for solo
appearances with the Band. A number of Band members also received
special "superlative" awards. World famous jazz
trombonist Phil Wilson, a soloist with the Band in 1996,
was the guest speaker for the event. A great time was had by all.
Do you enjoy the pursuit of trivia? Here's a draft of the
Concord Band trivia card deck. Answers (and best guesses) are at
the end of this article.
- Which composer's music has been played most often by the Concord
- How many members were in the Concord Band in its first
- How many pieces of music does the Concord Band play in a typical
- How many pieces has the Concord Band played since it was formed in
- How many times has the Concord Band played Sousa's Stars and Stripes
- When did the Concord Band play its first commissioned piece of
- How many pieces have been premiered by the Concord Band?
- When did the Concord Band make its first distributed recording?
- How many discs has the Concord Band recorded?
- What was the artist doing while designing the Concord Band's logo?
- In what year did the Concord Band cease marching and become a strictly
- What is the greatest distance a member of the Concord Band travels from
home each week to rehearse at 51 Walden?
- How many people have visited the Concord Band Web Site?
- How many professional video recordings have been made of the Concord
- How many concerts has the Concord Band played at its summer home at
Fruitlands Museums in Harvard?
- How many copies of the Concord Band's first CD, A Winter Festival, have
- When did these trivial items first appear in print (in a concert
program)? Here's one last not-so-trivial item:
- How many individuals and businesses contribute funds to the Concord
Band in a typical year? (Hint: Not enough!) To increase this number,
and help the Band financially, please write a check for as much as you
can afford and return it in the enclosed envelope. If you have no
return envelope, simply send your check to the address at the top of
Answers to Concord Band Trivia Questions
(1) John Philip Sousa
(4) more than 1,200
(5) about 175
(6) July 7, 1975
(7) more than 50
(9) 5: 4 vinyl LP, 1 CD
(10) Artist Walter Tymula was watching a Boston Bruins hockey game
(12) 92 miles [from Mashpee]
(13) more than 6,500
(16) about 350 [still some available for you to buy!]
(17) March, 1999
(18) fewer than 200.
Despite having been rained out of the first and last concerts
of the season at Fruitlands Museums in Harvard, the Concord Band
enjoyed another busy and successful Summer concert season,
presenting four concerts at Fruitlands, an Independence Day
Concert at Concord's annual "Picnic in the Park" on the
Fourth of July, and concerts in Belmont and Hudson. The themes of
this Summer's concerts included "A Musical Trip through the
20th Century," "Marches on Parade,"
"A Salute to John Williams," and a concert featuring
outstanding soloists from the Band including Matt Stevens
(tuba), Dave Southard (alto saxophone), Tom Taylor
(flugelhorn), and David Puriton (clarinet). Assistant
Conductor Christopher Morehouse conducted the program of
marches at Fruitlands. The Summer season ended in September, with
a concert at the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School football
field in celebration of the 365th anniversary of the
founding of Concord.
|The Concord Band's
Just in time for holiday gift giving, the Concord Band CD, A
Winter Festival, will be available from the Band and at area
retail stores. Among the pieces on the CD are Curnow's Overture
to a Winter Festival (in its premier performance), two Leroy
Anderson favorites, A Christmas Festival and Sleigh
Ride, three collections of Chanukah melodies, Victor
Herbert's March of the Toys, a Christmas Sing-along,
and the powerful Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed. A
Winter Festival, priced at $15, will also be available for
purchase at the Band's Fall concert on October 28th and
at the Holiday Pops concerts on December 8th and 9th.
Please call (978) 897-9969 for information on retail locations.
At 51 Walden Street, Concord, 8:00pm.
- FALL CONCERT
- Saturday, October 28
- HOLIDAY POPS
- Friday and Saturday, December 8 and 9
Be sure to make your reservations early for the Concord Band's
annual Holiday Pops concerts, to be held at 51 Walden on December
8th and 9th. There's no better way to
celebrate the holiday season than to enjoy an evening of great
music and fun in the festive 51 Walden holiday atmosphere!
Concord Band Holiday Pops is a tradition in Concord and sells out
early. Plan a great evening out with your friends and neighbors
and the Concord Band. Table seating is available at $15 per
person ($60 for a table of four) and includes beverages and
For reservations, please call (978) 897-9969.