News Column


August 6, 2014

By Katie Shepherd, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.

Aug. 07--The Fredericksburg Community Concert Band is putting on a festive show with a whimsical spirit next week when it premiÈres "Carnival of Animals."

Catch the performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hurkamp Park in downtown Fredericksburg as part of the Music in the Park concert series.

Or listen in on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Spotsylvania Courthouse Pavilion at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday's concert consists of a wide range of music from concert marches to pieces that are more comical in nature, said band director and conductor Christopher Fens, who has been with the band for more than a decade.

All of the songs have to do with animals in some way, with selections from Disney movies "Pink Panther" and "Jurassic Park" along with some circus marches and other carnival-style music.

"It's a fun show to play, yet demanding to the instrumentalists," said band president Arthur Baughman.

The Fredericksburg Community Concert Band has more than 60 members from high school-age musicians to adults from all walks of life and even retired residents. Some received musical training only in middle and high school, while others pursued music in college and even professionally, Fens said.

Band members come from the Fredericksburg area, mostly from the city and nearby counties but also from as far away as Orange, Baughman said.

The only requirement to join the band is the ability to play the music, Baughman said. But that can be very difficult and takes a practiced musician who is ready for the technical demands of concert music.

With woodwinds, brass, percussion and more, the Fredericksburg Community Concert Band is a full symphonic band without any string instruments but with all the capabilities of playing challenging symphony music.

"The circus marches [in the show] are very difficult and very enjoyable to listen to," he said. "We are really looking for people to have a good time at our summer concerts."

Attendees should bring lawn chairs or a blanket, and prepare for an enjoyably informal performance. The band, which sports formal attire for its indoor concerts in the winter, switches things up with a more personal experience in their summer performances.

"We just love coming together to make music," Fens said.

The band will be right on the grass with audience members for the "Carnival of Animals," in crisp white polos and khaki pants.

The event will be a fun, casual summer evening for families and music lovers.

Katie Shepherd 540/374-5417

What: "Carnival of Animals"

When: Wednesday at 7 p.m.Hurkamp Park, downtown Fredericksburg. Rain date: Aug. 20. Pets welcome.

Also, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.Spotsylvania Courthouse Pavilion

Cost: Free


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Source: Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA)

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