Just as baby birds warble and baseballs smack mitts each spring, musicians in the Dunedin Concert Band are fine-tuning their seasonal sounds.
"We're taking a rather dramatic departure from our typical spring concerts," said Dr. Louis Alan Zagar, the band's music director and conductor for the past six years. "We're actually going back in time and performing what essentially is the forerunner to the modern day variety show."
Dubbed "A Good Old-Fashioned Band Concert," the Boston Pops-style presentations will be held Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Dunedin Community Center's Edinburgh Hall.
The shows are free with a donation opportunity at the concert's conclusion. Claim your seat early as the concerts are wildly popular.
In this springtime show, you'll travel back in the late 1800s, when post-Civil War audiences clamored for "highfalutin European music."
For starters, there's the Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppe. If you don't recognize the title you'll surely recognize the flourishes and the galloping beats of the cavalry horses.
Community bands of yesteryear were eager to show off the individual talents of their musicians. Thus, euphonium duets will mark the old Italian love song 'O Sole Mio; a xylophone solo is the focus of a sprightly Soft Shoe Rag.
And true to the early band format, audience members are invited to sing and whistle along during Edwin Franko Goldman's On the Mall concert march.
A bit out of the realm of the 1880s, but nostalgic nonetheless, the band also pays homage to great films from the 1970s and '80s with numbers from Love Story, Jaws, Star Trek and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Bob Wells will act as narrator or "barker" during the performances, adding a touch of good humor while zinging band sections and band members from time to time.
And hang on to your seat. You may be tempted to jump up and lead the parade in your mind as the band concludes with the rousing Seventy -Six Trombones.
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