The Hallowell Community Band continued its longtime tradition of playing the evening of July 4 at Whale Park in Boothbay Harbor shortly before fireworks illuminated the Harbor.
As band director David Collier introduced HCB and a snapshot of the evening’s pieces, a horn sounded from a ship making port.
“That must be our sign,” Collier said as the band matched the signal and audience members laughed and applauded the uncanny timing.
The celebration, “Salute to Music in America," featured 15 pieces in a tribute to patriotic music, music as the fabric of America and to American composers, Collier said. The “Star Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” kicked the celebration off and were followed by several compositions such as Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and “The Thunderer” and Mancini’s “Moon River” and “Peter Gunn Theme.”
“This is a tribute to music in America and what makes our country great, holding the fabric of it,” Collier said before introducing a John Williams piece HCB had never before played for an audience. “This is one with a great, great theme, is brand new for us, and we're making our debut with this song – ‘Imperial March’ from Star Wars. The Darth Vader theme.”
“It’s the bad guy one,” one young girl said as the march began.
HCB also played classics from other genres including Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and highlights from the musical theater piece “The Music Man.”
“We've been playing Fourth of July for over 50 years,” Collier said in an interview before the show. “For some reason, which is still unknown to me, we have become a resident band here giving concerts in front of the library for over 50 years. I have no idea how that came about, but we are proud to be here. We love being here.”
Every Thursday night, HCB plays on the front lawn of Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library and plays a variety of music. Collier said the number of band members varies from event to event, but usually hovers between 30 and 35.