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Lowell Summer Concert Band tuning up for new season

By Used with permission from the Lowell Sun Online. By SUZANNE DION Sun Staff

If you hear random notes floating through the air these days, it's probably the Lowell Summer Concert Band tuning up at a rehearsal.

The band, directed by UMass Lowell music professor David Martins of Westford, celebrates its 10th anniversary at Boarding House Park this year. There'll be three evening performances in the Lowell Summer Music Series and, for the first time, the band will also perform in the Children's Corner series.

For the evening concerts, the band will offer selections in a range of musical styles, from Broadway to movie music, including the score of The Gladiator.

And for the kids, there's more movie music The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone besides Prokofiev's venerable Peter and the Wolf.

The band is made up of about 70 devoted amateur musicians, drawn from the ranks of UMass Lowell students and alumni and many from non-musical professions.

Martins and assistant conductor Blair Bettencourt of Westford started working last fall on this year's programs. It's a process, they say, of considering musical difficulty, potential soloists, and themes. And they have nothing but admiration for the musicians, who hold themselves to a high standard and meet the challenge of "putting each show together on two rehearsals in two weeks."

Summer Music Series performances are scheduled for Friday evenings, July 19 and Aug. 2 and 16. The band will perform in the Children's Corner series on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11 a.m.

For more information, visit the Web site at


WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR: Yes, summer vacation is here, but that doesn't mean teachers aren't already thinking about next year's field trips.

The UMass Lowell Center for the Arts already has its STARTS (Student and Teacher Arts) program lined up for next year, with 52 performances for student groups from grades K-10. The performances, by professional touring companies, are age specific and selected to enhance curriculum at designated class levels. They range from the fun of Gary Rosen's Teddy Bear Jamboree and Just So Stories to The Color of Justice and Romeo and Juliet.

All performances are at Durgin Hall on UMass Lowell's South Campus. The cost of the program is $5 per student with one free teacher or chaperone for every paid 10 students. For more information on reservations or to request a brochure, call the STARTS Hotline at 978-934-4452.