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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Fall 2008

News & Calendar - Fall 2008
Feature - "The CJB Goes to Europe"
Behind the Baton - Director's Thoughts
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CCB/CJB Positions - People in Charge
Contact Information


This edition of Coda Connections features a news article about the Columbia Jazz Band's recent European tour, various musical recommendations from the Columbia Concert Band's director, and the normal fun stuff. Enjoy!

This issue marks the long overdue correction of a major oversight. I humbly apologize to those members of the jazz band who, until today, have not been getting this newsletter.

For anyone who does not wish to be on the newsletter list, simple use the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of the page to opt out.

I encourage all CCB/CJB fans and members to speak up if there's a particular music-related subject that you would like to see featured in Coda Connections; please remember that your feedback is important to the growth and success of this publication.

Please send me a message if:
- Your email changes and you'd like to keep getting this newsletter, OR
- Someone you know is expecting this newsletter, but is not getting it, OR
- You wish to submit your own writing/comments.


- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar
Fall News
The bands have moved to Oakland Mills High School, in the Steven's Forest neighborhood of Columbia. Please note this change.

The concert band played two outdoor concerts in August and is now gearing up for the Children's Concert later this month. The CCB is also saddened by the passing of Fred Shermer, our music curator and an excellent French horn player.

The jazz band had a blast making lots of new friends and fans in Europe this past July, and is currently working on some new charts.

Fall Calendar - Concert Band
  Sunday, 9/21, 3:00-4:00P.M., Oakland Mills H.S., Columbia, MD

Fall Calendar - Jazz Band
  Sunday, 10/19, 3:00P.M., Catonsville Presbyterian Church, Catonsville, MD

by Len Morse (Percussion)   Article Musical notes on staff
The CJB Goes to Europe

The Columbia Jazz Band performed at the 42nd Annual Montreux Jazz Festival held in Montreux, Switzerland this past July. The well-known event hosts some of the biggest names in music and brings in hundreds of artisans and culinary merchants from around the world. Thousands of music fans flock to the festival every year. So how did a community jazz band make the big time?

CJB saxophonist Rip Rice, who conceived the idea for the band to attend the festival, single-handedly took the responsibility for all the necessary paperwork and procedures for submission. After some suspenseful waiting, festival officials offered the Columbia Jazz Band an opportunity to perform at this world-class international music festival. Thanks to Dr. Rice, the CJB proudly accepted the invitation to play two concerts at the July 2008 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Planning began and confidence was high, but there was a lot of work to be done. Band manager Maurice Feldman, who also plays saxophone in the group, had many time-consuming details to oversee: Securing a tour bus and guides, booking hotels and air tickets, handling payments from the musicians, and supervising other international travel minutiae. He says, "It went very smoothly, but I'm glad I'm retired."

A few of the band's regular musicians could not attend for various reasons, so Feldman and Bandleader Pete BarenBregge sought out recommended players from the group's sister organization, the Columbia Concert Band, plus other area jazz bands to fill the gaps. BarenBregge says, "For anyone who was interested in going and filling a 'gap,' I wanted to hear them play and meet them before committing. All came well recommended." Auditions were informal and the gaps were quickly filled. One member of the band was from Montana.

BarenBregge's choice of music was based on his teaching experience, his years directing the USAF premier jazz band, the Airmen of Note, and his current jazz editing job at Alfred Publishing. As an in-demand musician and with access to hundreds of jazz big band pieces (called "charts" in the biz), he knew exactly what kind of sound he wanted from the band.

Of the music, he says, "I know these charts all quite well and what would work best for this band. I selected music to offer a variety of jazz big band entertainment. I did not choose a lot of traditional Glenn Miller style big band music because I believe too many American bands believe that Europeans want to hear primarily the Miller sound." The band performed a variety of jazz styles, including contemporary tunes and jazz standards such as "St. Louis Blues" (W.C. Handy), "Cantaloupe Island" (Herbie Hancock), "You Do Something To Me" (Cole Porter), "Spain" (Chick Corea), and "Summertime" (George Gershwin).

During the two months prior to the trip, BarenBregge led a handful of rehearsals to ensure top quality performances. A total of 47 travelers--the musicians plus accompanying family members and friends-- flew to London, connected to Geneva, then took a bus to Montreux. After about 10 hours of travel, they had only one day to acclimate to the new time zone before playing their first gig.

All the top names in jazz and international music have performed at Montreux. Famous acts that played this year included Chick Corea and Alicia Keys, who performed at one of two buildings near the city's popular waterfront. Lesser-known bands perform at a covered outdoor park stage nearby. The audience area was also covered, and provided plenty of seating in hammock-style chairs and on the ground.

The Columbia Jazz Band was slightly larger than the average swing group, consisting of 20 instrumentalists and a vocalist. This group and all of their equipment filled the covered stage almost to capacity. The technical crew knew enough English to speak with the visiting musicians and do their job well. "Communication was a factor for sure, but through using a few key words gesturing, we did communicate well," says BarenBregge about sound checks.

Many listeners stayed for the entire 45-minute concert, while others wandered through, following the open atmosphere of the festival. Both Montreux concerts were well-received and the musicians enjoyed every moment of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Columbia Jazz Band also took an extended post- Montreux tour, which included one concert in each of three cities: Opatija, Croatia; Bled, Slovenia, where they performed at the "Bled Days" Festival; and Vienna, Austria, where they performed for the American Embassy community. Throughout the entire trip, the band fully enjoyed playing for approximately 5,000 new fans.

(Many thanks to Pete BarenBregge for his editing assistance.)

Behind the Baton
by Mike Blackman (Director)   Compact Disc
Dear Friends of the CCB,

If you enjoy the music that the Columbia Concert Band performs, maybe it's time to add some concert band recordings to your CD collection! Although there are far more orchestral recordings out there, one can easily find some wonderful band recordings with minimal effort. is a great place to start. If you have no band recordings at all, why not begin your collection with the true classics of the repertoire:

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Folk Song Suite
Gustav Holst - First Suite in Eb, Second Suite in F
Percy Grainger - Lincolnshire Posy or anything else
H. Owen Reed - La Fiesta Mexicana

If you're looking for something a bit more contemporary, try some music by these great living composers:

Frank Ticheli
Eric Whitacre
David Holsinger
Mark Camphouse
David Gillingham

Of course, there are always marches by John Philip Sousa, Karl King, and others. And if you want to be a little bit daring, just order something by a great wind ensemble, such as:

Eastman Wind Ensemble
Cleveland Symphonic Winds
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Dallas Winds

...or a recording with a top-notch conductor:

Frederick Fennell
William Revelli
Jerry Junkin
Eugene Corporon
John Paynter
Harlan Parker
Donald Hunsberger

Happy hunting! If you find something that you love, be sure to let me know. Thanks for your continued support of the CCB. It is so meaningful to us!


Mike Blackman,
CCB Director

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: "Postlude" - A closing piece of music, usually at the end of a church service.

Quarterly Quote: "Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is." ~ Malcolm Arnold

Official CCB/CJB Positions
Elected Executive Board
Director - Mike Blackman
President - Jeanette Donald
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Carolyn Hipkins
Treasurer - Beth Jubinski
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Chair - Kathleen Shoemaker
Fundraising Chair - Jenn Ambrosiano
Equipment Manager - Scott Lipcon
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Members-at-Large - Linda Baker, Bob Frantz, Tanya Hoegh-Allan, Russell Perkins, Sam Stern

Appointees and Volunteers
CCB-CJB Liason - Jodi Shochet
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - TBA
Uniforms - Bill DeVuono
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams


Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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Columbia Concert Band | PO Box 2713 | Columbia | MD | 21045-1713