Patriotism outshines the rain at July 4 concert

Jul 4, 2021

Despite a brief appearance by the rain, enthusiasm, patriotism and the joy of reunion reigned throughout the traditional July 4 celebration Sunday evening at the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society on Russells Mills Road. 

Attending under threatening skies that briefly opened showed “die-hard patriotism,’’ Dartmouth resident Patrick Roth said.

Matt Perry said he and his wife, Nicole Perry, “make it a point to come to this,’’ he said. They have attended since they were children, he said.

Fourth of July concerts were a long-standing tradition at the library that stood where The Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society is now located, said Susan Guiducci, vice president of the society.

When the library closed in 2007, the society took over hosting the concert. “It’s important,’’ she said. “Being a historical society, preserving tradition is as important as preserving buildings.’’

The July 4 concert was the first public appearance by the Dartmouth Community Band in nearly two years, conductor John Furtado told the audience. Band members welcomed the chance to perform, he said.

The band kicked off the concert with “The Star-Spangled Banner,’’ followed by a medley of classic American patriotic songs such as “You’re A Grand Old Flag.’’

The catchy rhythm of that George M. Cohan classic triggered an impromptu parade of children who circled the grounds waving flags.

“It’s nice to see a lot of people’’ here, said Carol Patenaude of New Bedford. “I’m a flag waver. I always wave the American flag. I always have one in my yard.’’

Sasha Lauterbach, a summer resident, said she has been attending the concert for many years, with her children, and, now, with her grandchildren. “It’s a wonderful tradition,’’ she said. “It’s delightful to be here.’’

Nonie Walder of Dartmouth played bass drum for the Dartmouth Community Band for more than 40 years. For the first time this year, she attended the concert not as a performer but as an audience member. “It’ll be good to hear it,’’ she said.

People enjoyed the chance to spend time together, said Robert Harding, president of the society. “We’ve all been cooped up for a year,’’ he said, “so everybody’s happy to get out.’’