Community band performs patriotic hits at concert

Jul 2, 2018

A rejuvenated pre-Independence Day concert is becoming the town’s go-to holiday tradition.

Held on July 1, several days before America’s birthday, the Dartmouth Community Band concert at the Russells Mills Schoolhouse attracted a record number of musicians and attendees with patriotic tunes, including an opening with a rendition of the national anthem.

The concert is actually an old tradition that’s getting new life, explained conductor John Furtado. It dates back to the days when the one-room Russells Mills Schoolhouse, located at 1205 Russells Mills Road, used to be a library.

Once the library closed, the music stopped.

With the building now being used by the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society, the concert was resurrected several years ago, and has been growing in popularity ever since.

More than 50 people attended, and as attendance at the concert has gone up, so has interest in the band itself with 58 members. This year, the band has upped its social media game with a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. It was the idea of clarinet player Lauren Helley.

“As of right now, it looks like we’re going to be bigger than last year,” Furtado said. “It’s grown even more and there’s more interest.”

Maxwell Kane has been performing with the band for the past 10 years, and is its assistant conductor. The recent Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech graduate plays the trumpet, and noted the band is close-knit.

“It’s probably one of my highlights during the summer, getting to work with fellow musicians and being able to share my talent with my fellow musicians,” Kane said.

The all-volunteer Dartmouth Community Band performs weekly concerts in July and August at 6:30 p.m. at Apponagansett Park. For more information, visit the band on Facebook at