by Bruce Rainey
April 14, 2013 Concert: 4 p.m. Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center 6845 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115
Community Bands have been an enduring part of Americana. The San Diego Concert Band proudly continues that tradition. Based in East County, we serve San Diego and neighboring counties, and have acted as cultural ambassadors in performances overseas.
Originally founded as the La Mesa Community Band in 1989 by Charles D. Yates and Warren Toms, the San Diego Concert Band continues to provide the best in concert band music to audiences in San Diego and abroad. Celebrating almost two and a half decades of entertaining San Diego residents, this band has an exciting schedule of concerts planned this year.
Over the years, the annual spring and Winter concerts have been performed throughout the county, including East County Performing Arts Center, the beautiful setting of Point Loma Nazarene University and the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center.
A more casual summer series of “concerts in the park” are performed at the Southern California Community Band Festival (in Poway), La Mesa’s Harry Griffen Park, La Jolla Cove, and Balboa Park. The band frequently features solos, full sections and small ensembles and the Band has featured many local performers and celebrities -including Pat Brown, Larry Himmel, Joe Pechola, George Roberts, and Kingsley McLaren. For many years, Pat Brown has been our Mistress of Ceremonies for the annual Holiday Celebration. Most recently, Joe Pechola was the featured soloist at the Holiday Celebration, performing “You ’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch from the Dr.Seuss TV special.
A wide range of music is performed, from show tunes, movie scores and marches to concert pieces for symphonic band. At its peak, the Band sold out the 1,200 seat East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) twice in 1991. At the time, the Band membership included well over 100 local musicians.
The San Diego Concert Band strives to provide the public and the Band’s musicians with a variety of musical experiences, including formal concerts with an educational and fun musical experience for the audience and a challenging musical experience for the musicians; informal/Summer concerts with a musical theme for the audience and an exposure to a wide variety of musical styles for the musicians; and a venue for “low-pressure” training, performance experience, and skill improvement for the individual musician.
The San Diego Concert Band’s members are from all walks of life – from high school students to retirees. The members live in various parts of San Diego County and elect to work with our band because of its musical challenges, performance programs and their personal convenience. Many of the members play in other community bands or musical groups. A few of our members are professional musicians, typically music educators in the school system. The band recently had one of its members, Mr. Richard Robinette, inducted to the California Alliance for Jazz hall of fame.
There is no limitation on skill because the Band has no audition requirements. The range of talent represented in the band is literally from novice to professional. In many instances, a new band member, when asked to introduce him/her self will say that they haven’t played “formally” for 10-20 years. This points out the veracity of the original recruiting call, “If you used to play in high school or college, and y0u miss the fun of it, come join the San Diego Community Band.”
Our Conductor Roy Anthony, Jr., retired from full-time teaching of instrumental music in 2003. His music groups have performed in Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Hawaii and the Eastern and Western areas ofthe United States. In 1996, Mr. Anthony was asked to help with the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games which were held in Sydney, Australia in September 2000.
Post retirement, Mr. Anthony has served as a mentor/resource music teacher for middle and high schools throughout San Diego County. He has served as Conductor of the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra, Director and Manager of District and Community Honor Bands, Guest Director for San Diego County Honor Band, Honor Orchestra and Manager of A11-State Honor Band.
We invite everyone to come and enjoy the music of the San Diego Concert Band. Our upcoming concerts include these dates and times:
- April 14, 2013 4pm Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center
- May 4, 2013 2pm Temecula Community Band Festival
- May 19, 2013 3pm Poway Festival (Old Poway Park)
- Jun. 23, 2013 6pm “Sundays at Six” (Griffen Park, La Mesa)
- Jun. 30, 2013 2pm Independence Day (St. Dunstan’s Church)
- Jul. 21, 2013 TBA Water Conservation Fundraiser
- Aug. 6, 2013 6:15pm “Twilight in the Park” (Balboa Park, Organ Pavilion)
For more information about the band, please visit our website