June 25, 2009
The new Falmouth Music and Arts Pavilion was dedicated today, and the Falmouth Town Band performed there tonight. It is a wonderful new stage, and the band looks good and sounds good on their new platform. Linda Whitehead, the band’s director, and also head of the Falmouth Public School’s music department, worked for years to raise money for the new structure, and it is nice to see that it is finally a reality.
The roof of the new structure is dramatic, and the design, with its warm colors and Cape style shingling, is very attractive. The shrubbery in front of the old band stand is gone, the stage is lower, and somehow friendlier.
The old bandshell was too small and crowded. I know–I played flute in the Town Band for 9 years, and I can tell you that it is especially difficult to play the flute in close quarters because of the way you have to hold it off to the side, and yet avoid poking anyone with it.
There are over 100 musicians in the Town Band, ranging in age from junior high school students to a saxophone player who will turn 90 next month. Several, like him, and Lin and her husband Jack, have played in the band since it began in 1972. Whole families play together. For a time, my son Nate played saxophone, my daughter Gabbe played either clarinet or oboe, I played flute, and my husband Glenn served as announcer. Glenn still does the announcing, but none of the rest of us currently play in the band.
The band plays an assortment of popular music, marches, jazz tunes, show tunes, and even some classical music, surely something for everyone, and, in between musical selections, Glenn offers interesting information on the music and what’s happening in Falmouth and surrounding towns.
When we first moved to the Cape, I used to take my then-little kids to the free concerts every Thursday night. It is a nice, casual evening of summer entertainment for residents and tourists alike.
It is also a great opportunity for local musicians to play, whether they are pros, young students, or people who are coming back to making music after having not picked up their instruments for 20 or 30 years. Lin is welcoming of musicians of all ages and skill levels. It can be a challenging to learn all the music (14 different pieces are performed every week, for ten weeks throughout the summer), after a ten-week rehearsal season, but it can be very satisfying to participate.
Concerts begin at 7:30 every Thursday evenings throughout the summer.