For more than 50 years, the Middlesex Concert Band has been contributing to the rich cultural life of the Greater Boston area, as the Redmen’s Band.
In 1974, the Red Men’s Band evolved into a wind ensemble and became known as the Middlesex Concert Band. The first public performance was in 1975 at Memorial Hall in Melrose. Since then, it has become one of the area’s outstanding community musical organizations, made up of more than 60 talented men and women of all ages who volunteer their time and effort to rehearse and perform concerts year-round throughout the Greater Boston area.
The Middlesex Concert Band is chartered to provide an enjoyable listening experience, while helping to educate members of the band and the audience with exposure to a broad variety of music.
First Baptist Church
For many years the band rehearsed at the First Baptist Church in Wakefield. Sadly, it was lost to a fire in 2018. We are also grateful to our friends, family, and the community for helping raise funds to purchase new percussion equipment and replace everything we had been storing there.
The band was invited to participate in the Lake George (NY) Community Band Festival on July 20, 2013. http://www.lgcb.org/ We were one of thirteen bands performing in the 9th year of the festival. The band stayed the weekend and enjoyed a Champange Brunch cruise on Lake George, dinner at the FarmHouse at the Top of the World, bbq by the beach and many other social activities in the area.
In 2009, the band participated in the National Community Concert Band Sousa Festival
in Washington, D.C. The festival featured individual and massed performances by three carefully-selected adult community concert bands. Repertoire emphasized the life and influence of John Philip Sousa on the American Band movement.
The band traveled to Quebec City in August 2002, where it performed two concerts and enjoyed a few days of sightseeing in the Canadian city. In 1998, the band traveled to Europe during the holiday season to take part in an annual music festival sponsored by Sunshine Parades, Int’l. During that trip, the band performed concerts in France, Monaco and Italy, featuring a repetoire of American music including a tribute to George Gershwin and a new work by local composer Stephen Bulla.
The roster of highly accomplished former music directors who have guided the band during the past years includes:
Mark E. Olson, music director 2009-current
James O’Dell, music director 2004-2009
Mark Aldrich, music director 2002-2003
David W. Rox, music director 1997-2002
Robson W. Shelly, music director 1985-1997
Amanda Shelly, assistant conductor 1985-1997
Ric Madru, music director 1979-1985
Michael E. Cooney, Jr. founding music director 1975-1979
In the recent past the Middlesex Concert Band has had the privilege to present several acclaimed musicians who have appeared as guest soloists, including: Ronald Barron, trombone; Daniel M. Clark, the singing Trooper; Lennie Hochman, saxophone; William Gray, tuba; Deborah Moscoso, soprano; and F. Chester Roberts, narrator. The band has also been proud to present several of its own members as featured soloists through the years.
In May 2002, the band was honored to present the premiere of the band and choral arrangement of We Are Americans, composed by local composer Maureen A. Condon to commemorate the victims of the September 11th tragedy. The performance took place at our annual Spring Pops Concert, held in conjunction with the Wakefield Choral Society each year. In 1996, the Middlesex Concert Band was honored to commission and present the world premiere of a composition for solo trombone and concert band entitled Rhapsody for solo trombone and concert band by Lawrence Wolfe, assistant principal string bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, featuring Ronald Barron, principal trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as the soloist. The band also commissioned and presented the world premiere of The Dunes East of Shinnecock-A Fancy for Symphony Band by Paul Dorsam in 1995.