Hello, Oakland Municipal Band followers,
It is the first day of summer, and we are just a few days from the opening concert of the 2018 season of the Oakland Municipal Band, the 107th season. We wanted to let you know what is happening and let you prepare for a new season of fun concerts at Lakeside Park.
Some of you may have heard that Troy Davis, our beloved music director since 2010, has decided to step down from that position. This was entirely his decision, as his career moves forward, and he would like to have some summers to travel. We have named him Director Emeritus, in honor of his service to the band, and he remains a friend and trusted advisor, and hopes that he may come back and guest conduct or play as an additional oboe some time in the future. We all wish him well in his future endeavors.
In his place, we have engaged R. Anderson (Andy) Collinsworth, the band director at Sonoma State University. Andy comes to us with an impressive record as a director and music educator. Click on the link to see his biography.
Andy will not be able to conduct on July 4 or 22, so we have engaged our principal trumpet from recent years, Jason Park, to conduct in his absence.
Jason and I (Bruce De Benedictis) will be on the KALW program Open Air Thursday, June 28 at 1:00 pm to discuss the upcoming season with host David Latulippe, who has played flute with the band in the past. KALW is 91.7 FM and will be streamed on their website at the time, and available for listening afterwards.
In keeping with our tradition of supporting other local musical organizations, Eliza O’Malley of the Berkeley Chamber Opera company will join Jason and the band to sing the National Anthem and America the Beautiful on July 4. You are, of course, welcome to sing along. She will be presenting Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco (Joan Of Arc) on July 13 & 15 at the Berkeley Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St. (at Arch). Make plans to go to the July 13 performance so you can hear the band play July 15! We will also have music from Oklahoma, which opens July 6 at Woodminster Summer Musicals, and a World Premiere of a Stephen Foster medley arranged by our euphonium player, Don Howe.
We will send out the program as it is finalized next week. Look for a new format for the programs, as we have received a generous grant of printing from Powis Parker of Berkeley.
We also have a beautiful new website at the same address, courtesy of the generosity of Eve Lurie Web Design and Build, as our previous web host has retired from the business. Although it is still under construction, the new website gives us the opportunity to offer more for the future. For the first time, though, we can now accept donations by credit card. We can also now accept donations of appreciated stock; please contact us for information.
There is another improvement coming. We have received a donation of stacking chairs from the Fratellanza Club, which will supplement the folding chairs we have been providing if you do not bring your own seat or picnic blanket.
However, to keep the momentum going, the Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band needs help going forward. We need you to spread the word about the concerts. We have cards and posters. Contact us if you would like some.
We need volunteers to come to the bandstand at 10 am on concert days to set up the chairs and music stands. You can stay for the rehearsal and concert, or come back for just the concert. If you would like to work behind the scenes, with publicity or other administration, please contact us. There are many opportunities for young people to gain experience which can be valuable in future careers.
Of course, we need your financial support. Some of our expenses have increased. Some of our previous donors have passed away. It costs about $5000 to put on each concert. With the reorganization that has been going on since Anne Woodell died, we have not had the time to do as much fundraising as we need to do to be sustainable, although that is improving. We need to keep these concerts free for those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to hear live music, we need those who can afford it to donate to make these concerts possible. Please send your most generous donation to Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band, 631 Boulevard Way, Oakland, CA 94610-1642, or visit our donation page .
Bruce De Benedictis, for the Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band
A 501(c)(3) organization