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Globe West Arts

For band members, music never gets old

Director Michael Karpeichik leads the Maynard Community Band, which has been performing since just after World War II. Director Michael Karpeichik leads the Maynard Community Band, which has been performing since just after World War II. (Jonathan Daisy)
By Nancy Shohet West
Globe Correspondent / July 28, 2011

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One is an executive in the high-tech industry. Another is a stay-at-home grandmother. A third is a wedding photographer.

They, along with about 25 others from area towns including Acton, Marlborough, Maynard, Shrewsbury, and Stow, make up the Maynard Community Band, which has been performing in these parts since just after World War II.

At the time, Maynard had several community ensembles, including one with a Finnish orientation. Merging was a way to mend rivalries among the groups, according to Richard Fardy, who has been a member of the Maynard Community Band since 1957, when he was a freshman at Maynard High School. He still plays euphonium with the band, though he has since moved to Billerica and is a high school teacher in Wilmington.

Fardy is not the only longtime member. Lynn Nelson of Marlborough has held a flutist’s seat since 1979. At that time she was a college student; now she’s a grandmother.

“When I joined, I was one of the very few young people in the group; it was mostly older community members,’’ Nelson said. “But now we’re very mixed in terms of ages. The group has kept together like a family. It’s wonderful for us, and it’s very gratifying to see how many people come out to enjoy our performances.’’

During the summer months, the band plays a free outdoor concert every Wednesday evening at Memorial Park.

Mark Malcolm, the children’s librarian at the Maynard Public Library, is a regular audience member, and he has found a particularly expressive way of showing his support for the group. At almost every concert, he leads a group of children in a march across the park.

Marches are one element of the group’s repertoire, but it branches out far and wide from there. Recent selections include classical works, film soundtracks, Broadway hits, folk tunes, patriotic anthems, and ethnic favorites from a variety of cultures.

Roy Miller of Stow was delighted to find this outlet for his long-neglected artistic talents. For decades, he focused on developing a career within the medical technology industry, eventually becoming CEO of a software company. Now age 71, he identifies himself as “an entrepreneur trying to find my next life,’’ and a few years ago he decided to return to the musical passions of his youth, when he played in various jazz bands for dances and weddings.

“As I looked for an outlet, a friend of mine told me about the Maynard Community Band,’’ Miller recalled. So enthusiastic did Miller become about resuscitating his skills as a percussionist that he recently started taking lessons in the orchestra bells.

Like Miller, Jonathan Daisy reached a point where he missed the musical performance days of his earlier years. Soon after moving to Stow, he saw a poster promoting the Maynard Community Band. “I had played flute in college, but hadn’t picked it up in many years,’’ said Daisy, a photographer by profession. “This band is a great resource for musicians like me.’’

Daisy’s son, who is in middle school, recently took up the flute as well, and Daisy hopes his son will soon start practicing with the band. “You get to go out and perform, and you get to say you’re in a band,’’ Daisy said. “We’re not the Boston Pops, but our concerts are free, so there’s really no pressure.’’

And while there’s no question that the musicians enjoy the experience of performing, band director Michael Karpeichik believes being part of the group is about more than just drawing a crowd on a warm summer night. “We have all levels of ability. Some have been professional musicians; some haven’t picked up an instrument in years; some are college students majoring in music. But here, everybody is on the same playing field, creating a musical family atmosphere.’’

The Maynard Community Band performs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through next month in Memorial Park, at Summer and Nason streets. For more information, visit www.maynardcommunityband.org.

DANCING IN CONCORD: Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy launches its 15th anniversary celebration with a performance by a hip-hop company, Illstyle & Peace Productions, at 7:30 tonight in the school’s Performing Arts Center, 166 Main St..

Along with the Boston debut of “IMpossible, IZZpossible,’’ the program will feature “Fly Like A Bird,’’ “Divine Collaboration,’’ “United We Stand Divided WE Fall,’’ “Love 4 Us,’’ and “KINGZ.’’

Tickets for the performance are $50; tickets including a reception with the artists are $150. Proceeds benefit Summer Stages scholarship programs. For more information, visit www.summerstagesdance.org or call 978-402-2339.

ARTS AT PARK SCHOOL: Creative Arts at Park presents its annual summer festival tomorrow at the Park School, 171 Goddard Ave. in Brookline.

The daylong festival presents works in a wide range of visual and performing arts by 300 students ages 8-15 from more than 30 Greater Boston communities, with doors opening at 9 a.m.

The young artists will be sharing the results of their summer explorations in such disciplines as dance, music, gymnastics, film, video, writing, karate and fencing.

Dramatic presentations to be performed include “Dear Edwina’’ at 9:30 a.m. and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night’’ at noon. In addition, the premiere of “The Runaway,’’ with a score by Newton native Mica Richards Moellering, will be presented tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call 617-277-2456, or visit www5.parkschool.org/caap.

DR. SEUSS IN HOPKINTON: Enter Stage Left Theater presents “Seussical Jr.’’ tomorrow and Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. at Hopkinton Middle School, 88 Hayden Rowe St.

The production features members of the troupe’s summer youth workshop, with performers ranging in age from 7 to 14.

Tickets are $12, or $10 for Stage Door members, and backstage passes for the Saturday matinee are also available for $5. For more information, call 508-435-2114 or visit www.enterstagelefttheater.org.

Send ideas for the Arts column to westarts@globe.com.


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