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Press Release

2005-2006 Concert Series

Northshore Concert Band (NCB), one of the most influential and respected symphonic bands in the world today, celebrates its 50th season in 2005-2006, including three concerts at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and one concert at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Tickets are only $6-$15!

2005-2006 Season Highlights
Artistic Director Mallory Thompson announces a captivating program lineup, featuring works by Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Malcolm Arnold, David Maslanka, and Percy Aldridge Grainger, including some of the most significant music written for winds, plus popular marches and medleys. Thompson says, “I couldn't imagine a more exciting concert season which is perfectly in sync with our anniversary slogan ‘honoring the past and embracing the future’. The band's rich tradition will be reflected in favorite repertoire, including transcriptions by the band's founder John P. Paynter, my predecessor and teacher. We look to the future with five commissioned world premieres and our special Lifetime of Music event, where talented high school students share the stage with NCB musicians.”

NCB features stellar guest artists throughout the season, including celebrated trumpeter and composer Allen Vizzutti on November 6, 2005; Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) clarinetist and Grammy® Award-winner John Bruce Yeh and his 16-year-old daughter, percussionist Molly Yeh, on February 19, 2006; saxophone master and Northwestern University professor Frederick Hemke on April 9, 2006; and Christopher Martin, CSO’s new principal trumpet, on June 4, 2006. The June program also features guest conductors Ray E. Cramer and Harry Begian, plus former NCB music directors and band alumni.

In honor of its 50-year legacy and commitment to new music, NCB will perform four world premieres during the 2005-2006 season, including three new fanfares composed specifically for the 50th season by renowned composers Mark Camphouse, Frank Ticheli, and Johan de Meij. On February 19, 2006, clarinetist John Bruce Yeh and his daughter, Molly, will premiere Michael Burritt’s Duo Concertante for Clarinet and Percussion.

Distinguished media personalities and band world figures have been invited to be concert hosts, including WFMT’s Carl Grapentine; former WBBM host John Hultman; former dean of Northwestern University School of Music, Bernard Dobroski; and William S. Carson, director of bands at Coe College and author of On the Path to Excellence, a complete history of NCB’s first 46 years. Grapentine will also offer a free pre-concert lecture at 2:15 PM on November 6, 2005.

NCB also proudly announces the return of its Lifetime of Music initiative, when 40 outstanding high school musicians are invited to perform several pieces with the band at the February 19, 2006 concert. The Lifetime of Music program encourages young people to continue their musical pursuits beyond graduation, and it is just one way that NCB demonstrates its commitment to music education and outreach.

Leading NCB into the Future:
Artistic Director Mallory Thompson

After seven years as Principal Guest Conductor and most recently, Artistic Director, NCB is delighted to announce that Mallory Thompson has agreed to become the sole artistic leader and conductor of the entire subscription concert series starting in 2005-2006. In addition to her duties with NCB, Thompson is director of bands, professor of music and coordinator of the conducting program at Northwestern University. Prior to this appointment, Thompson held similar positions at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of South Florida, Oberlin Conservatory, and Bucknell University. Thompson maintains an active schedule as guest conductor, clinician, and guest lecturer throughout the United States and Canada.

Fifty Years of Musical Excellence
NCB has been bringing music to the North Shore communities for over 50 years. NCB was founded in 1956 and led for 40 years by the late John P. Paynter, the former director of bands at Northwestern University, an accomplished arranger and an influential leader in the band world. Performing up to 15 concerts a year in the Chicago metropolitan area and reaching over 20,000 people annually, NCB’s season includes a four-concert subscription series, educational outreach programs at area schools, summer concerts, and professional band festivals and conferences.

Highlights of NCB’s history include performances with William Warfield, Doc Severinsen, Wynton Marsalis, Frederick Fennell, Leroy Anderson, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus at Orchestra Hall. It was the first group to receive the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Silver Scroll, North America’s most prestigious award for community bands. NCB has been selected to perform at Midwest Clinic, the world’s largest and most prestigious band and orchestra conference, 27 times.

NCB is committed to music education and is the proud co-sponsor of the Northshore Concert Band/Northwestern University Festival of Music, now in its 30th year, which attracts over 3,500 young musicians annually. NCB awards the John P. Paynter Scholarship, which provides financial assistance toward an outstanding high school musician’s college education and the opportunity to solo with the band. Percussionist Molly Yeh, appearing at the February 19, 2006 concert, is this year’s scholarship recipient. The 2005-2006 season will also include free outreach concerts for senior citizens and area schools.

NCB is composed of 110 dedicated volunteer musicians, ranging in age from 20 to 85, with an average tenure of 15 years. Approximately half are professional music educators, while the rest present a diverse set of occupations including business executives, attorneys, and physicians.