Oldest US college band to bring sound to Gisborne

Declared a 'landmark in American music'.

Declared a 'landmark in American music'.

A LANDMARK OF AMERICAN MUSIC IN GISBORNE: Impressed with the War Memorial Theatre, the University of Notre Dame Concert Band's (UNDCB) director of bands, Ken Dye is bringing the big band to perform here. Senior musicians from the Gisborne Concert Band will perform five numbers with the UNDCB. Picture supplied

IN THE same year Edgar Allan Poe published The Raven, David Thoreau embarked on his simple-living experiment and the Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed much of ... Pittsburgh, the University of Notre Dame Concert Band (UNDCB) was born.

The Indiana Music Educators Association has declared the oldest college band in continuous existence in the United States a “landmark of American music”, and now that landmark is coming to perform in Gisborne.

The arrangement came about through Bay Cities Symphonic Band musical director John Snowling who is a friend of the University of Notre Dame’s director of bands, Ken Dye, says Gisborne Concert Band clarinettist Cathy Brown.

Among his achievements, Dye was composer/arranger for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Band.

When Dye visited Gisborne last autumn he was impressed with the War Memorial Theatre and liked the Gisborne Concert Band’s hall, says Brown.

“Gisborne is one of the few places with a dedicated band hall. And the War Memorial Theatre offers a good size space, so Ken decided to bring the concert band here.”

The big band’s itinerary includes Sydney, Auckland, Napier and, now, Gisborne.

The Gisborne Concert Band’s senior musicians will perform five numbers with the UNDCB.

“That’s very exciting,” says Brown. “I’ve heard them and they are awesome.”

The programme includes “major concert band” work Oregon, Benny Goodman classic Sing, Sing, Sing, and Whale Warriors.

“We played Whale Warriors at the national festival last year where we won silver. It’s our conductor Chris Reynolds’ favourite.”

Brown also looks forward to the Gisborne Concert Band’s opportunity to perform Oregon.

“We haven’t been able to play it for a long time. We just don’t have the range of instrumentation. Chris will have the opportunity to conduct Oregon and Whale Warriors.”

Whale Warriors tells the true story of a crew who sail into the Antarctic in a bid to sink whaling ships. The music tells the story of their adventures as they use methods that include stink bombs, prop foulers, and the “can opener”.

“The music paints a picture of their ship, the Farley Mowat, which is painted black with a Jolly Roger hoisted up,” writes composer Brian Balmages. “The energy rises as they engage other ships and risk their lives to save these beautiful defenceless creatures.”

The UNDCB will donate profits from the May 27 performance to the Gisborne Concert Band.

IN THE same year Edgar Allan Poe published The Raven, David Thoreau embarked on his simple-living experiment and the Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed much of ... Pittsburgh, the University of Notre Dame Concert Band (UNDCB) was born.

The Indiana Music Educators Association has declared the oldest college band in continuous existence in the United States a “landmark of American music”, and now that landmark is coming to perform in Gisborne.

The arrangement came about through Bay Cities Symphonic Band musical director John Snowling who is a friend of the University of Notre Dame’s director of bands, Ken Dye, says Gisborne Concert Band clarinettist Cathy Brown.

Among his achievements, Dye was composer/arranger for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Band.

When Dye visited Gisborne last autumn he was impressed with the War Memorial Theatre and liked the Gisborne Concert Band’s hall, says Brown.

“Gisborne is one of the few places with a dedicated band hall. And the War Memorial Theatre offers a good size space, so Ken decided to bring the concert band here.”

The big band’s itinerary includes Sydney, Auckland, Napier and, now, Gisborne.

The Gisborne Concert Band’s senior musicians will perform five numbers with the UNDCB.

“That’s very exciting,” says Brown. “I’ve heard them and they are awesome.”

The programme includes “major concert band” work Oregon, Benny Goodman classic Sing, Sing, Sing, and Whale Warriors.

“We played Whale Warriors at the national festival last year where we won silver. It’s our conductor Chris Reynolds’ favourite.”

Brown also looks forward to the Gisborne Concert Band’s opportunity to perform Oregon.

“We haven’t been able to play it for a long time. We just don’t have the range of instrumentation. Chris will have the opportunity to conduct Oregon and Whale Warriors.”

Whale Warriors tells the true story of a crew who sail into the Antarctic in a bid to sink whaling ships. The music tells the story of their adventures as they use methods that include stink bombs, prop foulers, and the “can opener”.

“The music paints a picture of their ship, the Farley Mowat, which is painted black with a Jolly Roger hoisted up,” writes composer Brian Balmages. “The energy rises as they engage other ships and risk their lives to save these beautiful defenceless creatures.”

The UNDCB will donate profits from the May 27 performance to the Gisborne Concert Band.

University of Notre Dame Concert Band War Memorial Theatre, May 27, (7pm) Seats can be booked at Stephen Jones Photography or TicketDirect. Adults $22, concessions $17 and children $12.

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