Town band to welcome the holidays

The Memorial Concert Band of Colonie will present a holiday concert on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The Memorial Concert Band of Colonie will present a holiday concert on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Submitted Photo

— Dave Knorr isn’t one of the founding members of the Memorial Concert Band of Colonie, but he’s certainly devoted to its success.

“We do a variety of music, some of it from the traditional band literature, we do transcriptions of some orchestral classic pieces, a lot of opera pieces, anthologies of show music like Broadway and a lot of marches,” said Knorr, who plays bassoon.

The band is sponsored by the Town of Colonie Department of Parks and Recreation and the South Colonie Central School District and puts on four concerts each year at the high school. It’s in its 13th season and the name is to honor deceased South Colonie Music Department administrators and educators.

“We turn out about 250 to 300 people, sometimes less if the weather is bad, sometimes more if we get good advertisement,” said Knorr.

Knorr said he’s hoping for closer to the latter number at the Wednesday, Dec. 14, performance that will feature holiday music and end with a sing-along of Christmas Carols.

“I think people will have an excellent time, there’s some excellent music being performed, we will be performing a very difficult Christmas piece called ‘Russian Christmas Music,’” said Douglas Dougherty, conductor.

Dougherty is new to the conductor job at the Memorial Concert Band of Colonie, spending years as a trumpet player in the band before, but he’s conducted school bands and community bands in the past.

“My approach is to try to interpret the music as best I can to the musicians and rehearse the group so we can have an excellent performance,” said Dougherty, who took over duties after the band’s long-time conductor retired just short of his 88th birthday. “I’m trying to bring the band more in line with recent band literature as well as maintaining the older music that is out there for concert band.”

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