Dundas Concert Band celebrates 175th year on July 4

Concert in the Park series runs Tuesdays July 4 to 25 and Aug. 1

By Dundas Star News

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Photo of Dundas Concert Band October 25, 2022 by Lawrence Yanover

Dundas Concert Band celebrates its 175th anniversary year with the first of five Concert in the Park performances July 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Dundas Driving Park.

Performances continue each Tuesday, weather permitting, on July 11, 18 and 25, and Aug. 1, continuing a tradition of concerts in the park going back to 1958.

In 1848 the band was known as the Dundas Citizens’ Band and the current name was adopted in 1923. The July 4 Concert in the Park summer series opener will recognize the band’s 175 years.

Musical Director William Rolfe took on the task of selecting arrangements representing Dundas Concert Band’s history, legacy and diversity of musical genres. Rolfe assembled a summer series including pieces from the earliest days of the band and its association with local military regiments.

Many early members of the Dundas Citizens Band also played in The Wentworth Regiment, formed in Dundas in 1872. It was originally the 77th Wentworth Battalion and Infantry. This year’s summer series celebrates that connection.

Featured is Pentland Hills, a march medley of traditional Scottish Airs such as “The Lass O’ Gowrie,” “John Anderson,” “My Jo’ ” and “The Rowan Tree.” “The Lass O’ Gowrie” was the Regimental March of the Wentworth Regiment.

Also included are medleys of familiar works by Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

The Dundas Concert Band looks forward to the Dundas Pipes and Drums joining them at the July 11 concert.

At the July 25 concert the band’s guests will be Leo Johnson West African Djembe Drummers. Johnson has, for many years, been teaching authentic African call/answer, and songs specific to Liberia on djembe drums.

Dundas Concert Band drummer Chris Wilson gets an opportunity to play his conga drums in an interesting arrangement by Naohiro Iwai called “Jungle Fantasy.” Wilson also plays his congas in “Encanto” which was just purchased by the band as a special feature for this concert season.

“Encanto” was released by Disney in 2021 and tells the story of a family living in Columbia, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. This collection includes “The Family Madrigal,” “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure.” This Disney medley concludes with “Waiting On A Miracle.”

There is music from several other Disney movies presented in a blockbuster arrangement called “Disney At The Movies.” The band will perform highlights from Disney’s animated musical drama version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Typically, DCB presents several medleys from movies and Broadway. This summer series is no different. Selections this summer include “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Cats,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Doors on Tour” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Younger members of the audience will enjoy medleys from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Incredibles” and for the video gamers in the crowd there is music from “Cuphead.”

The final concert is a family-oriented presentation sponsored by the Greensville Optimists on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Rain date is Aug. 8. Arrive by 7 p.m. and “Meet our Instruments.” You will get a chance to see, and hear, up close instruments band members play. Bring crayons and pencils for a family-friendly activity to help you listen for different sounds during the concert.

The band looks forward to the return of faithful audience regulars, but also hopes to see new faces in the crowd for the presentations in the Dundas Driving Park.

Follow the band at www.DundasConcertBand.com

Donations can be made in person, by mail, or by internet e-transfer using the email address info@dundasconcertband.com.

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