Meet the Baton Rouge Concert Band.
The band recently circulated a survey to learn a little more about its members as its fall concert approaches on Sunday. The band will perform at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
And whereas past concerts have focused on a central theme, this one doesn’t follow a format with such varied selections as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Procession of the Nobles,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!,” John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and a medley of Henry Mancini hits.
You know about Mancini, right? He wrote the theme to “The Pink Panther” movies.
But did you know that the Baton Rouge Concert Band is a community organization, meaning its members are volunteer musicians? So, most band members hold day jobs, many of them representing such professional fields as civil/structural design, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, law, optometry, band directing, software developing, and insurance underwriting.
There also are doctors, teachers, chemists and accountants sitting in the band.
Some provided a favorite memory on the survey. Tuba player Jim Young’s favorite band moment happened in 1957.
Young has been a band member since Vernon Taranto — known as “Mr. T” — founded the concert band in 1977.
“I sat next to Mr. T in 1957 in the symphonic band at LSU,” Young writes. “That was the year the LSU Band Hall burned, and Mr. T asked if we were going to have rehearsal that night. His instrument was the only one that didn’t get destroyed, because he took it home that day.”
Other band members cited the band’s performances at the Association of Concert Bands National Conventions as their favorite moment. The band has attended conventions in Gainesville and Pensacola, Florida; Houston; Plano, Texas; and Lafayette.
“The national conventions received the highest number of responses for favorite moments,” trombone player Jim Kersh says. “Second place went to the band’s performance at the 70th anniversary of D-Day at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.”
So, now that you know the Baton Rouge Concert Band, why not get to know their music?
They’ll perform live and in person on Sunday, while making more memories.