Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

JENNIFER NELSON

jennifer-nelson

Jennifer Nelson plays the Flute and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2001. She is a Private Music Teacher and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started my first instrument, piano, the summer after first grade. I started flute in fifth grade. The selection of both instruments was influenced by hearing my sister play them. My sister was in high school when I was born, so she played both very well by the time I was hearing her, and I wanted to do that too.

What do you enjoy most about playing? Music is the universal language. I have traveled and played with people in Europe, China and Argentina. Even when we couldn’t necessarily understand the foreign languages, we could still communicate musically, and the expression comes through no matter what the language. Music can bring diverse groups of people together and form connections that are difficult to achieve otherwise.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  On the trip to Argentina with my church, a group of third graders sang for us. They sang the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in Spanish, and they sang so expressively that even though we could not understand the words, we could tell what part of the hymn they were on just by how they were singing it. It was an amazing experience. And one of my favorite musical memories involving my own playing is from right after I joined the Northshore Band in late 2001, just before the band performed at the Midwest Clinic. I remember the first rehearsal that Mallory did with us was the Elgar Nimrod, and I was totally blown away by what she did expressively with that piece.

What are your musical influences? Music played a big role in my upbringing. My mom was very active in getting me to play and keeping on top of me in the area of practice. In the first few years of piano lessons she would hover over me while I practiced and make sure my rhythm was good by whispering the counting while I was playing, which was highly annoying at the time, but I’m so grateful now that she was such a stickler.  Growing up, my parents exposed me to a lot of light classical music; many Boston Pops recordings, Sousa marches, and my dad, a World War 2 Navy veteran, played his LPs of Victory At Sea A LOT.  Today I am inspired by the many great works we play in NCB: the Hanson Romantic Symphony, Kalinnikov Symphony No. 1, Ito Gloriosa, and the Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, just to name a few.

Who was your most influential music teacher? My 7th grade homeroom teacher, Tim Dommer, was also the choir director for both kids and adult choirs, church organist, and also accompanied my flute solo for Contest. He also later became my piano teacher. He is really the one who made music come alive for me by getting me actively involved with playing flute in church. This was especially important for me because the band program at the school was weak and I was in danger of losing interest at the time, but he lit the musical fire in me. He was so passionate about music and taught me a lot about expressive playing.

My high school flute teacher, Kathy Brasky was also very influential in continuing that passion for flute, and in college Kay Ragsdale really got me prepared for intense rehearsal situations.

Does anyone in your family play music? My husband, Bruce plays euphonium in NCB. My sister played flute and piano, and my two nephews both played piano, and one also played trumpet and the other also played clarinet.

What’s on your iPod? In the classical section there’s a lot of orchestral, band, and instrumental solo works. I also have Broadway/Showtunes, some pop tunes, and there’s a lot of Christmas music on there.  When I run I often listen to some of the fast pieces we have played in NCB like the Maslanka Symphony No. 2, and the combination of the speed of the piece and the adrenaline rush I get from remembering the excitement of when we played it really gets me moving!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Make music a lifetime event!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The biggest difference is the commitment to the Lifetime of Music concept. We not only encourage kids to keep music a part of their lives no matter what career path they choose by doing outreach concerts in schools, but we act on that by devoting an entire concert to welcoming kids to come play with us and interact with us. We also play outreach concerts at schools to further this concept.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Powerful, expressive, dynamic

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Everyone always asks “what’s that black thing on the floor by your foot?” That black thing on the floor by my foot is my page turner.  All my music is on my tablet, and that thing on the floor is connected by bluetooth to the tablet and can turn the pages forward or backward, hands free!

 

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

Magnolia Star by Steve Danyew

steve-danyew

Steve Danyew is an award-winning composer for wind, choral, orchestral + chamber groups. He received a B.M. from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds an M.M. in Composition and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music.

Magnolia Star, a highlight of our fall 2016 concert Reflections, is an energetic piece that was written for wind ensembles.  The Magnolia Star was a train that ran from New Orleans to Chicago with the famous Panama Limited in the mid 20th century.This work evokes train travel with driving rhythms, train-like sonorities, and also uses the blues scale as the primary pitch material of the piece.

magnolia-star
Composer Steve Danyew has this to say about his fun and energetic Magnolia Star:

“When I was playing saxophone in my middle school jazz band, we started every rehearsal the same way – with an improvisation exercise that our director created.  It was a simple yet brilliant exercise for teaching beginning improvisation and allowing everyone in the band a chance to “solo.”  As a warm-up at the opening of each rehearsal, the whole band played the blues scale ascending, resting for one measure, descending, and resting for another measure (see example below).

bluesscale-620x86

During the measures of rest, each member of the band took turns improvising a solo.  Looking back, this exercise not only got the band swinging together from the start of rehearsal, but it made improvisation, a daunting musical task to many, seem within everyone’s abilities.

This experience was my introduction to the blues scale, and I have long wanted to write a piece inspired by this group of pitches. In Magnolia Star, I explore various ways to use these pitches in harmonies, melodies, and timbres, creating a diverse set of ideas that will go beyond sounds that we typically associate with the blues scale. I didn’t want to create a “blues” piece, but rather a piece in my own musical voice that uses and pays homage to the blues scale.  Nearly all of the pitches used in Magnolia Star fit into the concert C blues scale.  It is interesting to note that embedded within the C blues scale are both a C minor triad, an Eb minor triad, and an Eb major triad.  I explore the alternation of these tonal areas right from the start of the piece, and continue to employ them in different ways throughout the entire work.

Another influence was trains and the American railroad. The railroad not only provides some intriguing sonic ideas, with driving rhythms and train-like sonorities, but it was also an integral part of the growth of jazz and blues in America.  In the late 19th century, the Illinois Central Railroad constructed rail lines that stretched from New Orleans and the “Delta South” all the way north to Chicago. Many southern musicians traveled north via the railroad, bringing “delta blues” and other idioms to northern parts of the country.  The railroad was also the inspiration for countless blues songs by a wide variety of artists.  Simply put, the railroad was crucial to the dissemination of jazz and blues in the early 20th century.  Magnolia Star was an Illinois Central train that ran from New Orleans to Chicago with the famous Panama Limited in the mid 20th century.” (images and quote are reproduced from www.stevedanyew.com)

Join us on Sunday November 5, 2016 as the Magnolia Star returns to the Chicagoland area!

Reflections

Sunday November 6, 2016, 3:00 pm
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

 

 

For more information about Steve Danyew, visit www.stevedanyew.com.
To purchase tickets for this performance, visit www.northshoreband.org

The Northshore Concert Band Welcomes Guest Soloist Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

IMG_1093

The Northshore Concert Band is honored to welcome Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for his first solo performance with NCB!

The program, entitled Reflections, is on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and is conducted by Artistic Director Mallory Thompson.

This concert opens our season of musical “Reflections” with a diverse program that embraces a world of freedom and fellowship. The concert’s driving opener, Magnolia Star, is a jazz and blues-inspired work by emerging American composer Steve Danyew that celebrates the Illinois Central Railroad and the symbolic way that its route brought art together in America.Reflections concludes with two contrasting works by Dmitri Shostakovich that commemorate the October Revolution of 1917. His familiar and celebratory Festive Overture was written and premiered in just three days in 1954. October, the composer’s only tone poem, was written in 1967 and depicts the struggle and triumph of humanity throughout history.  Program highlights featuring Mr. Pokorny  will include Turbulence by Bruce Broughton and Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen, arranged by  Alan Morrison and transcribed by Joseph Kreines.

Gene Pokorny has been the tuba player in the Chicago Symphony since 1989.  Previously, he was tuba player in the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to playing film scores in Hollywood such as Jurassic Park and The Fugitive, he has played in chamber music, opera orchestras and orchestra festivals worldwide. He grew up in Downey, California, about a mile from where the Apollo command modules that first took man to the moon were built. He studied tuba in Southern California with Jeffrey Reynolds, Larry Johansen, Tommy Johnson and Roger Bobo.  In recent years, he has annually returned to Southern California teaching, playing and lecturing at the Pokorny Seminar given at the University of Redlands.  He assisted Rolling Stones’ trombonist, Michael Davis, in the production of his “Twenty Minute Warm-Up” along with having solo and educational CDs of his own. He has received an Outstanding Alumnus Award and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southern California and University of Redlands, respectively. Pokorny is a member of the Union Pacific (Railroad) Historical Society and spends time as a “foamer” (watching and chasing trains). He is a card-carrying member of The Three Stooges Fan Club (a “victim of soicumstances!”) and is an avid enthusiast of his good friend David “Red” Lehr, the greatest Dixieland sousaphonist in the known universe. Gene, his wife Beth Lodal (the one in the family with a three-digit IQ) and their basset hounds, (nonmusicians who happen to have real lives), regularly forage from their refrigerator, which is located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.  (Biography courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra )

Reflections

Sunday, November 6, 2016
3:00 pm
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Please join us for this special performance!  Individual concert tickets are $20, tickets for seniors (65+) are $15 and student/child tickets are $10. Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert.

Click Here Button

For More Information visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263.

 

 

 

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

TYLER HOLSTROM

tyler holstrom

Tyler Holstrom plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. He is a Private Instructor and lives in Mokena, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing clarinet when I was eleven years old. My sister had started playing clarinet the year before, and this was my next scheme to one-up her in every way possible!

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  My favorite musical memory is my final wind ensemble concert as a student at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. The program was incredibly challenging: Ryan George’s “Firefly,” Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone with Northwestern alumnus Sean Hurlburt, Florent Schmitt’s “Dionysiaques,” and Karel Husa’s “Music for Prague 1968” (which you heard at our season-opening concert, Zero to Sixty). It required countless hours of hard work from every member of the ensemble, but the reward was tremendous!

What are your musical influences? It goes without saying that Dr. Mallory Thompson is an incredible musical influence in my life, pushing me to perform at levels I didn’t even know I was capable of and enlightening me with countless new ideas every week. Aside from Dr. Thompson, my musical influences include Charlene Zimmerman (my former clarinet teacher) and Stephen Squires.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Professor Stephen Squires at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. After working with him in high school, I was blown away by his incredible musicianship, keen ear, and outrageous sense of humor. He’s the reason I chose CCPA, and continues to be a huge influence in my musical life.

Does anyone in your family play music? Nope! My sister quit playing once I beat her in chair placements in junior high.

What’s on your iPod? Exclusively classical and instrumental music: a lot of Dvorak, Barber, Britten, and Prokofiev. I also have a massive playlist of all my favorite band pieces, which gets played on constant repeat. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough room for all the music I love!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Always keep pursuing music! There are always opportunities to play and be involved in music, even if you decide to do something else professionally.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Playing with Northshore Concert Band was a dream of mine since the first time I heard the band as a child. In Northshore Band, you get to perform repertoire of the highest quality at a ridiculously high level – an experience that is hard to find outside of military bands. It’s also a great way for those of us who are not pursuing a performance career to keep playing great music with great people every week.

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Fun facts about me: 1) I have an obsession with the aliens from Toy Story (“The CLAAAAAAW”). 2) One of my life goals is to own a French Bulldog. 3) My parents have come to every single one of my concerts since I started playing the clarinet in 2003. They may not have been awake for the whole concert, but they were there!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

RICHARD LEHMAN

Rich Lehman

Richard Lehman plays Percussion and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. He is a Band Director and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing in 4th grade at the age of 9; I picked percussion because I annoyed my sister by banging on the dinner table with the silverware.

What do you enjoy most about playing? What we do is intensely personal and over time we have a concert it is a gift that we the musicians get to give the audience. Giving that gift to others is what I love most about playing.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Being a music teacher there are quite a few I get to choose from, but one of my highlights is getting to guest conduct the Pennsylvania District 8 Honor Band.

What are your musical influences? I love the music of the Big Band era and composers like Barber, Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin.

Who was your most influential music teacher? That’s difficult because I believe each teacher I’ve had the honor of studying with has helped shape me into the teacher I am today. Dr. Thompson helped push me into being a better musician and not settling for being adequate and it’s a blessing to rehearse with her each week. My colleague and friend, Terry Melbourn has taught me (and continues to teach me) how to be an outstanding middle school band director.

Does anyone in your family play music? My mom plays the organ and piano and my sister plays the piano. If you ask my father what he plays, he will respond by saying, “the radio.”

What’s on your iPod? A lot of podcasts ranging from Radical with David Platt to This American Life.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Anything in life that is worthwhile takes time and commitment.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? It’s the level of playing and life experiences that each member brings to the music that makes it better than other groups I’ve had the chance to perform with.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspirational, Dedicated and Giving

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Announcing Our 61st Season!

Announcing.. image

Don’t miss your chance to hear the musical excellence of Northshore Concert Band!  Here are just a few highlights of our 2016-2017 season of musical “Reflections”:

  • We are honored to welcome Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on November 6, 2016, for his first solo performance with NCB!
  • Our Winter concert celebrates the youthful spirit of our talented student guests in our annual Lifetime of Music program!
  • On April 23, 2017, we will present Giving Voice to the Silenced.  This powerful musical program tells a story of vitality, loss, contemplation, and possibility that honors Holocaust Remembrance Day and Earth Day!
  • You won’t want to miss our season finale concert which extols the bond between the United States & Latin America and celebrates the dance rhythms from New York to Mexico!

2016-2017 Season Subscription Concert Dates

Reflections – November 6, 2016  

Youthful Spirit – February 12, 2017 

Giving Voice to the Silenced – April 23, 2017

On the Town – June 4, 2017

Concerts are on Sundays at 3:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the  Northwestern University campus in Evanston, IL.


Subscribers Get the Best Seats at the Best Prices!

subscribe-today2

Visit www.northshoreband.org  or call 847-432-2263!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

KEVIN BALDWIN

kevin baldwin (w_Jim Cornelison)EDIT

Kevin Baldwin plays the Tuba and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2007. He is a Mechanical Engineer and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? 4th Grade – Why?!  Why not is the real question here. I was already involved with lots of sports so what was one more thing on the to-do list at that point in life.

What do you enjoy most about playing? It’s nice to get out of the normal routine of work and life in general to be able to be with friends once (sometimes twice) a week.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Lots of good memories of trips for music. One at the top of the list is playing at Carnegie Hall while at Purdue University. We were invited to play at the NY Wind Band Festival for World Projects my senior year. It’s amazing how fast life goes as that was 10 years ago!

What are your musical influences? Best way to put this is music was a way to either start the day off in High School or, even better, be a break in the day during College. Especially from all that studying in Engineering – my head was hurting all the time from this! So I looked forward to not studying textbooks and playing some music instead.

Who was your most influential music teacher? I of course have multiple teachers in my path of music. My private teacher Richard Schmitt who played trombone for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra way back in the 40s. Greg Wojcik who is the band director at Glenbrook South High School who also played trombone. Jay Gephart – director of bands at Purdue University and is quite the tuba player. Best way to find a common thread between all 3 teachers is their way of leading by example.

Does anyone in your family play music? Dad played Percussion and Mom played a mean Organ (so I’ve been told!). My brother played Alto and Tenor Saxophone through High School. Lots of other extended family members playing something over the years as I’ve been to a lot of school concerts!

What’s on your iPod? Currently playing: The Soundtrack from “Brassed Off”

Do you have any advice for young musiciansKeep with it … it gets better and better.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The comradery of the low brass sections. We all know our abilities and limits to help each other out in a good way to produce the best sound possible. I’ve learned so much from playing in this group over the years.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Exciting, Precise, & Accomplished

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Looking back at all the trips associated to music, I’ve been to a lot of places! New York, Orlando, Michigan, Indiana, California, England, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands! Lots of great experiences and looking forward to the next one.

 

Kevin is pictured with Jim Cornelison, national anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks, backstage at the Northshore Concert Band’s Fall 2014 concert A Veterans Day Salute.

 

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

Support the Northshore Concert Band!

Martin quote

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, the Northshore Concert Band just completed its historic 60th season.

NCB is unique in the exceptional quality of its performances and in its outreach to young musicians. Among other accomplishments this season, we were joined by nationally recognized artists, over 20,000 audience members enjoyed NCB performances, thousands of young music students participated in our multi-day festival of music at Northwestern University, selected Chicago area students performed alongside NCB musicians at our Lifetime of Music concert in February, and dozens of alumni joined us for our June concert.

lom quote2_r+oj

We work hard to make our concert income and Festival registration fees stretch as far as possible, but those sources don’t cover the cost of our musical productions and educational programming.  And, for the past two seasons, the Illinois Arts Council has been unable to offer grants which are so important to us, leaving NCB with a deficit of approximately $10,000.  We depend on the generous donations of our supporters.

We respect the demands on arts supporters in these difficult times.  We hope, though, that you value our musical and educational work, and we ask that you support us with a generous donation.

Support Your Favorite NCB Member’s Passion for Music!

 $5,000 Supports the Conductor’s Podium for the season.

 $1,500 Supports the Conductor’s Podium for one concert.

 $400 Supports an NCB musician for the season.

 $150 Supports an NCB musician and a student musician at Lifetime of Music concert.

 $100 Supports an NCB musician for one concert.

makeadifference!Donate_blk

Unrestricted gifts provide the Band with the most flexibility and offset expenses not covered through ticket sales or Festival registrations. Quick, easy, and secure contributions can be made at www.northshoreband.org or via mail with a check to the Band at Northshore Concert Band, 1555 Sherman Ave. #315, Evanston, IL 60201-4421.

Thank You for Supporting the Northshore Concert Band!

The NCB is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization.

Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

 

 

 

 

 

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

DEBORAH HAWES

Debbie H

Deborah Hawes plays Percussion and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 1966. She is a retired Physician and lives in Northfield, Illinois. Deborah is also the treasurer for Northshore Concert Band.

When and why did you start playing? When I was 4 my mother started teaching me piano; when I was 8 the school band director was looking for someone who could read music and whose father had a truck to move percussion equipment. I volunteered myself and my father and now 62 years later I’m still a drummer.

What do you enjoy most about playing? Music is an essential part of life. Listening to it can be transcending. Playing it joins you to the music; you become part of creating the musical experience and then it will always be with you.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Some time ago at one of the NCB Adult Band Conferences, Colonel John Bourgeois of the US Marine Band was conducting the conference massed band. I missed the initial Friday night rehearsal because I had to work, but when I showed up Saturday morning (after the rehearsal had started because I was coming right from work) I was met by three anxious percussionists pleading,”Please tell us you can play snare drum!” There was one overture with a snare drum intro and Col. Bourgeois had brought his medley of Sousa marches with cadence interludes and I was on my own. After the concert while I was moving equipment, the colonel sought me out, thanked me, and gave me a big hug and a kiss.

What are your musical influences? Music is like reading for me – I will read anything: fiction, nonfiction, advertising, even soup cans – because I like the way words are put together. Likewise, I listen to all types of music, and although I don’t have the necessary training to analyze its construction I can savor it.

Who was your most influential music teacher? John P. Paynter

Does anyone in your family play music? My husband taught instrumental music for 32 years and he still plays. Our daughter plays French Horn and our son plays trumpet.

What’s on your iPod? My son playing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez on flugelhorn with the UCSD wind ensemble; Sibelius Symphony #2; Movie soundtracks by Richard Rodney Bennett, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and Ennio Morricone

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Listen to professionals who play your instrument so that you know what sound to strive for. Never give up playing; music will grow with you, help you learn valuable life lessons, be there when you need emotional support, and always give you other musicians to hang out with.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups? The combined missions of musical excellence, educational programs, and community entertainment.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Unparalleled, dedicated, family

 

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

The Association of Concert Bands Journal Featured Band!

We are thrilled to be featured in the Member Band Spotlight column in the latest issue of the Association of Concert Bands Journal!

NCB Formal 300dpi blog banner size

The Association of Concert Band’s mission is to foster excellence in Concert Band music through performance, education and advocacy.  It publishes The ACB Journal three times per year and, while it is available to members only, the ACB has kindly given us permission to reprint the June Member Band Spotlight column which features the Northshore Concert Band.

ACB JOURNAL, JUNE 2016

MEMBER BAND SPOTLIGHT

The Northshore Concert Band (“NCB”) is a 100-member symphonic band that performs throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Now in its 60th season, NCB has become internationally known and respected for its musical excellence, leadership in community music, and service to music education.  Northshore Concert Band’s musical leadership is provided by Artistic Director, Dr. Mallory Thompson, and Assistant Conductor Daniel Farris.  Dr. Thompson first conducted the Northshore Concert Band in April 1999 and was named principal guest conductor that same season.  In 2003, Dr. Thompson accepted an expanded role as NCB’s artistic director.  NCB was founded in 1956 and led for 40 years by the late John P. Paynter, who was director of bands at Northwestern University, an accomplished arranger, and president of many band organizations, including the Midwest Clinic and the American Bandmasters Association.

Highlights of NCB’s 60-year history include being the first group to receive the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Silver Scroll, performance and clinician appearances at the Midwest Clinic, performing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus at Orchestra Hall, and many appearances at band festivals and conferences throughout the United States and Europe.  Additional highlights include performances with internationally-renowned guest artists including: The Chicago Symphony Horn Quartet, Dale Clevenger, Larry Combs, Adolph “Bud” Herseth, Christopher Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Allen Vizzutti and William Warfield.  Performances with prominent guest conductors include Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Frederick Fennell, Karel Husa, Donald Hunsberger, H. Robert Reynolds, and John Whitwell.

NCB has commissioned nine new works for wind band and has released eight recordings on CD.  In 2003, Meredith Music Publishers released a book by Dr. William Carson entitled On the Path to Excellence: The Northshore Concert Band, Paynter, Buehlman and Beyond.  In 2011, Chicago classical radio station, 98.7 WFMT, broadcast two programs of live performances from NCB’s concert series at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

BCF_0434

Throughout its history, NCB has promoted the development of community bands.  This has been accomplished through performances, recordings, the sponsorship of three adult band conferences, and publication of The Community Band: A Manuel of Organization and Operation, which has been used to start or improve many community bands in the United States. (See www.northshoreband.org/resources for more information.)

Performance and Recordings

Northshore Concert Band performs 12-15 concerts a year in the Chicago metropolitan area, reaching over 20,000 people.  These include a concert series at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, educational outreach programs at area schools, many summer concerts at the invitation of various communities and venues, and professional band festivals and conferences.

NCB has produced eight CD’s and receives playtime on Chicago’s classical music station WFMT, among others.  The band has also toured in Canada and Europe and extensively throughout the United States.

The Northshore Concert Band Celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1866

Spring_concert_NCB_2015-2016_season_brochure_alternate_cropped

As the ACB Journal goes to press, the NCB is preparing for their concert Liberty and Justice For All.  This concert pays tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and is dedicated to the men and women who led and continue to lead the fight for equality.  It features two moving musical tributes to the Civil Rights Movement. Adolphus Hailstork’s American Guernica was composed in memory of the four young girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.  Mark Camphouse pays tribute to the venerable Rosa Parks and her peaceful and dignified act of defiance in A Movement for Rosa.  Program highlights include: Liberty Fanfare – John Williams/arr. Jay Bocook, American Guernica – Adolphus Hailstork, A Movement for Rosa – Mark Camphouse, Candide Suite – Leonard Bernstein/arr. Clare Grundman.

Northshore Concert Band Education and Community Outreach

Part of the mission of the Northshore Concert Band is “to assist in the music education of young people – the future generation of adult musicians.” They believe fervently in the concept of a “lifetime of music” and that it begins with young people displaying their musical talents.

Here are just a few examples of how NCB enriches the lives of music students and residents of Chicagoland with high-quality education and outreach initiatives.

Lifetime of Music Initiative

Winter_concert-NCB_2015-2016_season_brochure_alternate5inx3in

Since 2003, dozens of outstanding Chicago-area school musicians have been invited to join NCB on stage for its Winter concert each season.  This program aims to provide a rewarding musical experience to young musicians as well as expose them to the performance opportunities that await them beyond college, whether or not they choose to pursue music as a career.

“The Lifetime of Music concert is a great example of an event that all students can feel welcome at, but is challenging enough that it will raise their skill level in music beyond what they’re normally capable of.”                                     -George Stedman, Lifetime of Music student, Wauconda, IL

This year’s Lifetime of Music concert was held on Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Festival of Music – 40th Year

Northshore_Concert_Band_Festival_of_Music_2016

2016 marks the 40th Anniversary of Northshore Concert Band’s Festival of Music.  This annual three-day event offers more than 2,000 K-12 music students a unique musical experience by combining developmental performance opportunities with demonstrational performances by outstanding local musicians.  Over the past 39 years the Festival of Music has touched the lives of more than 100,000 music students.

This annual three-day event held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, includes solo and ensemble contests, band clinics, a master class and recital and a performance by the Northshore Concert Band.

One of the highlights of this event is the Solo and Ensemble Contests.  Student musicians perform solos and small ensembles for critique and ratings by professional judges.  Judges are professional music educators, many from within the Northshore Concert Band, who provide supportive oral and written feedback following the performance.  This year’s solo and ensemble events included 688 solos (318 piano and approximately 100 strings) and 73 student musician ensembles.

Full concert bands have the opportunity to work with highly regarded university directors in the Festival’s Band Clinic’s.  22 bands participated in this year’s intensive 50-minute clinics.  The noncompetitive, non-rated format of these clinics emphasized education rather that a grade or score.

The final day of this year’s Festival of Music began with a Master Class on Musicianship.  Principal players from the Northshore Concert Band presented this class for students on all band instruments.  This class addressed principles of tone production, breath control, development of technique, performance anxiety, ensemble etiquette, and other topics.  It was followed by a recital in which members of the Northshore Concert Band performed solo and ensemble performances for band and orchestra instruments, piano and voice.  This event provided students with excellent models of musicianship and engaging repertoire.

The Festival of Music culminated with an hour-long concert presented by the Northshore Concert Band at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Northwestern University campus.  This free concert was open to all students, teachers, parents and family members.

“The Northshore Concert Band is an example of perfection in concert band performance.  To have these outstanding musicians available to share their expertise and love of music with student musicians in a very positive and encouraging way is an invaluable learning opportunity.”                         –Patricia White, private teacher, Festival of Music, Addison, IL

“It is a rich and rewarding experience for students to prepare and learn from experts in their fields.  Add the inspirational setting of Northwestern University and the students walk away with memories that will last will into the future!”-Renee DeJager, Band Director, Festival of Music,                                                                                                     Timothy Christin Schools, Elmhurst, IL

 

If you would like information regarding the 2017 Northshore Concert Band Festival of Music, or you would like to be put on the mailing list, please call our Festival of Music Manager, Kendra Gohr at (847) 432-2263, ext. 701 or email her at festival@northshoreband.org.

The contents of this article was reproduced with the permission of the Association of Concert Bands. For more information about the Association of Concert Bands please visit their website at www.acbands.org.

 

Image credit: Ralph Durham