The Oak Ridge Community Band will have its annual Independence Day concert on Thursday, July 4, at Alvin K. Bissell Park. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., and it will mark the 75th anniversary of the Community Band’s first concert, which was held on July 4, 1944.
“Come early, bring chairs or blankets for outdoor seating, and enjoy the music and fireworks,” a press release said. Refreshments will be available for sale.
This is a free event, the press release said. However, donations are appreciated to help offset band expenses.
The Community Band’s July 4 performance is a family-friendly event, and it provides an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy a fun evening of music and fireworks, the press release said.
The Community Band has received word that the Steve “Doc” Combs family will be holding a family reunion in Oak Ridge on July 4, and family members plan to attend the concert. In honor of this occasion, the Community Band will perform the “Doc” Combs march written by “Doc’s” good friend and composer Cecil Karrick.
Steve “Doc” Combs (1928-2005) directed the Community Band for 35 years from 1965 to 2000, increasing band membership and developing the band’s year-round concert schedule. “Doc” Combs was also the band director at Oak Ridge High School from 1960 to 1980, and he taught more than an estimated 2,000 students during those years. In 1968, he was selected by School Musician Magazine as one of the top 10 band directors in the nation, the press release said. He was honored twice by the City of Oak Ridge, once on September 14, 1980, and again on November 24, 1996. An interesting note is that “Doc” Combs, as coordinator of music for the Oak Ridge Schools during the 1960s and ’70s, implemented the band program for fifth-graders, which is still ongoing to this day, the press release said.
Other musical selections for the Independence Day celebration include “Armed Forces Salute,” “Homefront: Musical Memories from World War II,” “Once Upon a Time in the West,” and the Community Band director’s own composition “The Windrider.” The audience will also enjoy hearing “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Swing’s the Thing,” “Washington Grays,” and Sousa marches “Washington Post” and “On Parade,” the press release said.
The concert will begin with the traditional “The Star-Spangled Banner” and end with a rousing rendition of “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” which sets the mood for the fireworks, which follow the concert, the release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photo were submitted by Barbara Gritzner.
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