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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Fall 2009

News & Calendar - Fall 2009
Feature - Band Member Reminiscence
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 some thoughts from one of our own players, a musical programming recipe from Director Mike, and of course, upcoming performances.

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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.

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- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar

Fall News

Both the concert band and the jazz band enjoyed successful public performances at Lake Kittamaqundi and other venues.

Fall Calendar - Concert Band

  Sun, 9/13, 3:00-4:00PM, River Hill High School, Clarksville, MD
  Sun, 12/13, 3:00-4:00PM, River Hill High School, Clarksville, MD

Fall Calendar - Jazz Band

Fall schedule not finalized yet. Stay tuned...

by Jenn Ambrosiano (Flute)     Musical notes on staff
Strengthening Family Ties Through Music

The love for music often comes from a parent's influence. When I was a child, my dad would play the piano for me, and I would dance. I was in elementary school, and I wanted nothing more than to play an instrument the way my father did.

Although I never mastered the piano, it was then that I found a new way to express my love for music. In 5th grade, I had the opportunity to choose a band instrument, but I was indecisive about my choices. My dad told me about the times he played in a band when he was in high school; he talked about playing the saxophone and suggested it as a possibility for me to learn. Of course, I chose to pursue the oboe!

Eventually, I wore out my oboe (and probably my parents' ears, too) and thought about trying something new. Two yeas later when I started junior high, I discovered the flute, which I have been playing ever since. My dad was very proud, and is still happy that I found a way to keep music in my life.

The summer before I started high school, I received information in the mail about "Band Camp." We were to learn how to play a piece by Gustav Holst, entitled Jupiter. Being unfamiliar with band camp, I didn't know what to expect. My dad instinctively knew what was in store, and his excitement was contagious. After a short explanation about how I would learn to march on the football field, he selected a record called The Planets Suite from his collection of music and placed it gingerly on the turntable. Jupiter started to play.

Listening to that scratchy old LP solidified a deep relationship that I had never known before, and created one of the fondest musical memories I have with my father. I knew at that moment that music would remain in my life, one way or another, forever.

Much time has passed since those days and I still have a very strong musical connection with my father. I have children of my own now, and I am so grateful that I can continue the tradition that my father instilled in me. I see that playing an instrument keeps music in my life, the lives of my family and friends, and especially in the lives of my children. Making music is not easy, but is enormously gratifying. Even when preparing a complex piece for a performance, or having difficulty with a particular passage, I smile because it's something I absolutely love to do.

Behind the Baton
by Mike Blackman (Director)     Conductor
Dear Friends of the Columbia Concert Band,

I hope that some of you were able to hear our Summer Concert - either at the Columbia Lakefront or the Lurman Woodland Amphitheatre. Both performances went extremely well and were well-received by enthusiastic audiences. Although it's taken me ten years, I think I finally understand what type of music the summer audiences want to hear: Familiar! We had a good time preparing a healthy variety of pop, Broadway, movie, and marching music, and hope that you found it to be enjoyable.

So - what about the formal performances that we play in December and May? What are the ingredients needed to cook up an entertaining indoor concert? Each conductor has his/her own opinions on programming, and I thought I would use this note to share mine.

Many conductors like to start a concert with a march, but I (in my ongoing quest to be different), prefer to start with either a stately fanfare or a short, up-tempo, contemporary composition. Then, once our audience has relaxed and "opened their ears," I like to play a lengthier, more difficult, and/or more sophisticated piece. There is usually time for one or two more pieces on the first half, and I always like to send folks to intermission humming a catchy tune that they just heard. If it is a winter concert, I will often close the first half with a holiday piece.

I often select a march to open the second half of a CCB concert, and follow that with either another challenging work or a slower, contemplative piece. If I have discovered something that is particularly unusual, I will often also put that in the middle of the second half, and I always try to conclude the concert with a novelty piece, a medley, or something familiar and light.

I hope that you will consider coming to an upcoming formal performance. Now that you know my recipe for concert programming, you can listen with "bigger" ears and follow the progression of musical styles throughout the afternoon.

Thank you, as always, for your support of Howard County's very own community band - The Columbia Concert Band!


Mike Blackman, CCB Director

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: Soprano Saxophone - One of 14 original instruments invented by Belgian musical instrument designer Adolphe Sax in the 1840's, the soprano saxophone is made of brass and combines the single reed and mouthpiece of the clarinet with the conical bore of the oboe. It is keyed in B-flat, has almost the same range as a clarinet, and is played primarily in jazz and concert bands.

Quarterly Quote: "Dancing: The vertical expression of a horizontal desire legalized by music." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Official CCB/CJB Positions

Elected Executive Board

President - Bob Frantz
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Carolyn Hipkins
Treasurer - Aileen Borders
Members-at- Large - Jenn Ambrosiano, Harry Guenther, Tanya Hoegh-Allan, Jim Kaiser, Russell Perkins, Kathleen Shoemaker, Sam Stern, Woody Wingfield

Appointees and Volunteers

CCB Director - Mike Blackman
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge
Publicity Chair - Kathleen Shoemaker
Fundraising Chair - Harry Guenther
Equipment Manager - Len Morse
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - Jeanette Donald (Acting)
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Uniform Manager - Bill DeVuono
Insurance Liaison - Jenn Ambrosiano
CCB-CJB Liaison - Russell Perkins
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams


Contact Information

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