THE CONCORD BAND was founded in 1959 as a marching unit for Concord’s Patriot’s Day parade, but since 1970 has been exclusively a concert organization, playing fourteen or more concerts each year. The sixty-five-member Band performs regularly at its permanent home, the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, at its summer home at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts, and at Concord’s “Picnic in the Park” on Independence Day. The Band has also played summer concerts in the towns of Belmont, Bolton and Hudson, Massachusetts, and Milford and Nashua, New Hampshire. The Concord Band, once described by then University of Massachusetts Director of Bands Malcolm W. Rowell as “a wonderful ensemble with a marvelous history...a cultural treasure,” also participates frequently in the annual Boston Festival of Bands held in Faneuil Hall each June.
In 2013 the Concord Band received the Sudler Silver Scroll by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. This international award “recognizes community concert bands of outstanding musical excellence”. The Concord Band is the first community Band in New England to receive the Silver Scroll; since 1987, 44 such awards have been given. Members of the Band represent more than forty area communities and a wide variety of professions. Band members have played in the organization for an average of nearly sixteen years; sixteen have been members for twenty-five years or more. Many are alumni of prestigious college, military, or professional bands.
Over the years, the Band has engaged numerous noted guest conductors. These have included Frederick Fennell, William Revelli, Arnald Gabriel, Leonard B. Smith, John Corley, Willis Traphagan, Peter Hazzard, Lee Chrisman, James Curnow, Steven Grimo, Thomas G. Everett, Alfred Dentino, Christopher Morehouse, Paul Berler, William H. Silvester, Malcolm W. Rowell, Steven Barbas, Elliot Del Borgo and Keith Brion. Lt. Col. Steven Grimo, then commander of the US Air Force Academy Band, has described the Concord Band as “true Patriots and the Soul of New England. The Concord Band is truly a Community Band with a professional attitude. They enjoy the experience of making music and know how to Make it Happen!” Since 1967 the Band has either commissioned or has had written for it 78 new works for symphonic wind ensemble—possibly more than any other community band in the world. Commissioned works have been written by composers Norman Dello Joio, Peter Hazzard, Richard Cornell, Robert Sirota, John Bavicchi, Douglas Toland, Kurt Phinney, Warren Barker, John Higgins, James Curnow, Thomas J. McGah, Dan Lutz, Stephen Bulla, William Gordon, Lewis Buckley, Julie Giroux, Elliot Del Borgo, Jerry Seeco, Roger Cichy, Andrew Boysen, Jr., and Rene Pfister, et al, as well as by the Band's Music Director Laureate, William M. Toland, and Music Director Emeritus, Dr. William G. McManus.
The Concord Band’s CDs, A Winter Festival, The Best of the Concord Band in Concert: 1992-1994, and The Concord Band Salutes America—as well as concert audio and video recordings, limited edition discs available to friends of the Band—are a great way to preserve one’s memory of the Band. The Concord Band cannot operate solely on the income from ticket, CD and DVD sales and sponsored concerts. Contributions are tax deductible.