by Rama K. Ramaswamy
June 21 marked the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. What better way to mark the occasion than with the Wellesley Recreation Department’s sponsorship of the summer concert held on the green next to the Town Hall?
The Wellesley Town Band delighted its hometown audience with the concert, filling the pleasant evening with the sonorous sounds of Wellesley’s own musicians.
“If you have ever played a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument,” explains a Town Band solicitation for new members, “there's a chair, music, a music stand, and a warm welcome waiting for you in the Wellesley Town Band! Players of all ages (Grade 8 upwards) and musical abilities are welcome, no auditions are required. The Band has a real family feel with spouses, in-laws, parents and students, all playing together. The Band is led by legendary Wellesley schools band director Henry Platt. There is always a friendly, supportive, and enjoyable atmosphere of making music together. The repertoire is traditional concert band fare: light classics, favorite show tunes, and stirring marches."
“As a parent, all of the above is true!” confirmed Amy van der Wal of the Town Band’s self-description. “My daughters (both teenagers) play beside musicians representing every decade [20s-70s] and generation. They all learn something from each other in a fun, supportive musical environment. The crowd brought picnic foods, chairs, blankets and we met up with friends and neighbors. Everyone was happy and had good old fashioned fun”.
The concert warm-up and set-up began by 6:30 p.m., with the performance starting by 7 p.m. A half hour later, the band took a break, while Jeffrey and Matthew's jazz combo played for thirty minutes, after which the band (directed by Henry Platt, WMS Band Director) returned to close with their second set, which ran until 8:30 p.m.
The order of compositions performed was as follows: “Our Director,” “St. Anthony Divertimento,” “King Cotton,” “Lassus Trombone,” “Military Escort,” “Sinatra,” “George M. Cohan,” “Bandology,” “Officer of the Day,” “Oh Brother, Where art Thou?,” “Washington Post,” and “76 Trombones.”