Greenbelt Concert Band Concert
The predecessor of the Greenbelt Concert Band was the Greenbelt Community Band which was founded in 1940, three years after new residents moved into the city. The Concert Band now plays about twenty concerts in the Greater Washington Area including several annual traditions in Greenbelt: the Greenbelt Day concert, the Fourth of July concert at Greenbelt Lake before the fireworks show, and the Holiday Lights concert in December. Since 1994, the band has been led by conductor Thomas Cherrix.
Before the Greenbelt Concert Band plays its annual Greenbelt Day concert, Mayor Judith Davis gives the 75th anniversary address. It was 75 years ago this June that Maryland Legislature passed Greenbelt’s city charter, creating the first council/manager government in the state.
Mayor Davis: “Since 1937, Greenbelt has been molded and led by the vision and pioneering spirit of our citizens. Only 16 percent of those who applied to live in this unique planned community were selected, in part based on their commitment and willingness to actively participate in civic life…. Some of the institutions that they created were Maryland’s first council/manager form of government, the newspaper now known as the Greenbelt News Review, a town fair later became known as Labor Day Festival, and the Community Band which grew to become the Greenbelt Concert Band, which will be performing shortly. Greenbelt has had 75 years of great accomplishments. We had the first kindergarten and the first municipal recreation department and municipal pool in Maryland. We had the first high school in the country named after a First Lady, our highly acclaimed Eleanor Roosevelt High School. We’ve been designated a playful city, a tree city, and a National Historic Landmark. And though we may among the youngest municipalities in the state, we moved quickly to become innovative leader, thanks to our citizens who continue to bring forward progressive ideas and programs. Now in 2012, Greenbelt is proud to cheer on the new generations of pioneers who are making great strides on behalf of their families, our community, and our nation.”
Mayor Davis recognizes members of the city’s 75th Anniversary Committee. Here are Frank DeBernardo (left) and Dave Mills (chair). The committee started meeting in April 2010 and has planned a year-long series of celebrations for the city’s 75th anniversary.
Mayor Davis mentions the naturalization ceremony which took place in this gym earlier today and tells that first generation immigrants now compose more than one quarter of the city’s population. She talks about new organizations in the city including Greenbelt Solar Coalition and Alight Dance Theater and looks forward to new neighborhoods at the north and south core sectors by Greenbelt Metro station. She talks about cutting edge scientific research work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center which is next to Greenbelt and Greenbelt Park. (“How many cities can claim an entire national park within its borders?”) “As our 75th Anniversary Committee has so eloquently stated, Greenbelt continues to be distinguished by Community, Culture and Cooperation, may it always be true that the more we change the more we stay the same.” Mayor Davis finishes by reading aloud a poem from the June 1, 1938, Charter Day supplement of the Cooperator (now the News Review).
The Greenbelt Concert Band starts its Greenbelt Day concert by playing the national anthem. Here is conductor Tom Cherrix.
Mayor Davis, Mayor Pro Tem Emmett Jordan, and Don Rich
Tom Cherrix introduces the next item on the program:” As is our tradition, we will next play The Heart of Greenbelt March, composed and arranged by Frederick Morden based on a prize-winning song by Semour Levine. Both Frederick Morden and Semour Levine were Greenbelt residents in 1976 when Levine won a contest to compose a song for the city of Greenbelt.”
A Tribute to Stephen Foster arranged by Sammy Nestico. Foster (1826-1864) was “the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century.” Cherrix tells that Foster died when he was 38 but produced 125 songs in his lifetime, many of them are still loved today.
The next item is “What’s Up at the Symphony” arranged by Jery Brubaker and based on Bugs Bunny classic cartoons. It includes “This Is It,” “William Tell Overture,” “Barber of Seville,” “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down,” “Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody,” “Brahms’s Hungarian Dance,” Ride of the Valkyries, and “Merrily We Roll Along.”
A bunny is present.
Clarinet soloist Keith Northover joined the Greenbelt Concert Band in 2005 after graduating from Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Since then he has received a Master’s degree in clarinet performance and music education at the University of Florida, and this fall he will begin working on his Doctorate of Music in clarinet at Indiana University. Here he is the clarinet soloist for Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertina, Opus 41.
The remaining items on the program are Clari-nuts by Humphreys and Payne, part of “The New World Symphony” by Anto Dvorak, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson (June is Peace Month), and “Guadalcanal March” from “Victory at Sea” by Richard Rodgers.