Reading Community Concert Band Programming Concepts and Concerts
In 2007 the Reading Civic Concert Band featured its first guest artist: the Boston Community Chorus, a gospel choir led by Dennis Slaughter. From there RCCB began to feature guest artists during the winter concert cycle on a regular basis, including concert pianist Virginia Eskin, trumpeter Thomas Palance, trombonist Daniel Walker and flautist Judith Braude.
As the seasons rolled by, the director began to experiment with innovative programming. Since popular repertoire was always included in every concert, the idea for interactive concerts once a year was developed. Beginning with an accident of scheduling in 2007 when the only date available was on Mother’s Day, the first interactive concert was launched. this was called “Where’s the Burg(er)?” and was a game of musical Where’s Waldo? in which the audience was asked to find a theme hidden in every tune and a prize given for the first hand that went up. The Where’s Waldo proved to be very popular and Mother’s Day then became the band’s promotion concept of bringing Mom to brunch and then a concert. In 2010 the band developed their interactivity and presented a faux television show entitled “Name That Tune,” (which later resulted in a cease and desist letter from the real television show!) where we played a full game show complete with a test booklet, categories of questions, prizes, and of course, a lovely high school girl in an evening gown to play the part of Vanna White (no matter that the real Vanna had nothing to do with the original TV show). In May of 2012, the band went yet a step further and presented a concert with a theatrical bent: a comedy concert with jokes, a guest violinist, a plot and scripting and including a fencing match between the conductor and assistant conductor over who got to conduct the William Tell Overture. The concert was hoot and great success.
The Reading Civic Concert Band looks forward to continuing to explore different kinds of programming and different ways to get the message out to audiences. The whole point is to have fun while playing great music.