Community band gearing up for summer concert debut

Jun 19, 2019

Ann Silverberg has not played the trombone in more than 20 years. But that didn’t stop her from joining the Dartmouth Community Band.

The all-volunteer band, which has been meeting and hosting concerts every summer since the 1970s, kicked off its 2019 season with the first practice of the year on June 18. Silverberg was among 11 new faces to join the group this year.

“Music was a big part of my life when I was growing up, but I haven’t played in 20 years,” Silverberg said. “It was a challenge but I did better than I thought.”

That’s the goal of the band, explained conductor John Furtado: Providing an outlet for musicians who just want to perform.

“It’s just fun with volunteers, people are playing because they just want to play,” Furtado said.

The band has been growing in recent years, especially in the past three to four years. It now has between 50 and 70 members who perform on a variety of instruments, including a few new surprises this year: A bass guitarist, and an accordion musician.

The community band is open to musicians of all ages and skill levels  — from those just starting to learn their instrument, to those who passionately study music.

Dartmouth High junior Alex Jacquart joined the band to practice the tenor sax over the summer. He’s also in the high school’s marching band.

He isn’t the only student in the program. Bekah Roy studies music at UMass Dartmouth, and plays the flute. This is Roy’s third summer with the band.

“I thought we sounded really great,” Roy said after the practice.

The community band will host its first concert of the summer on June 25, 6-7 p.m. at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home. The annual “Fourth” of July concert is set for June 30, 5-6 p.m. at the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society’s 1205 Russells Mills Road location. Both performances will feature a variety of patriotic music.

The band’s Tuesday night concert series runs from July 2 to August 27 at the Apponagansett Beach gazebo from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.