By Gwen Orel
Barbara Rudy was there when the Montclair Community Band began 35 years ago. Not too many of the original bandmates still play, but the ethos of the band remains the same: a place where amateur musicians can rehearse and perform both popular and less known band music. Since 1982, the band has performed several concerts a year. Adults and high school students from Montclair and the surrounding area who play an instrument are welcome to join — no auditions necessary.
Band Manager Rudy, who plays flute and piccolo, said by telephone that only once or twice has someone who joined not been able to stay — and one time it was because the musician didn’t read music well. Violinists need not apply, though — it’s a band, with band instruments only. And it’s a nice, big, full band, with 65 members and a long-standing conductor, Jim Wasko.
Generally the band rehearses once a week at the Montclair High School music room and performs five concerts per year.
On Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m., at Montclair High School Auditorium, Montclair Community Band will perform its “End of Winter” concert. Admission is free, and the venue is barrier-free and handicap accessible.
The mixture of marches, Big Band favorites and some light classics will appeal to the entire family, including children, Rudy said.
The program includes: music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” by John Williams; Circus march from “Entrance of the Gladiators;”
Clare Grundman’s “American Folk Rhapsody #3;” Bedřich Smetana’s overture to “The Bartered Bride;” music from the movie “Lincoln,” by John Williams; and a Beatles medley, titled “All You Need Is Love.”
As always, John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” rounds out the program.
This weekend’s concert is the second of the 2016-17 season. The next concert, the band’s spring concert, will will be a 35th-anniversary celebration and will take place on Friday, May 12.
The band is sponsored by the Montclair Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit montclaircommunityband.org or call Rudy, 973-744-1454.