McGill’s moves inside for start of concert series
HOULTON, Maine — After rain forced the cancellation of the first two concerts of the season, McGill’s Community Band director Mike Hutchinson decided the best course of action was to move Thursday’s show inside when rain once again threatened to cancel the show.
Ironically, the rain held off until later in the evening, but the show remained indoors and those in attendance did not seem to mind the change of venue.
“We decided after last week’s rain-out that we would book the auditorium in case it was bad again,” Hutchinson said. “Three weeks with no playing was not an option. We needed to get playing, so this was our option.”
The band features a wide variety of tunes to appeal to audiences of all ages. The marches remain popular with the older generation, while the younger crowd tends to respond well to Disney classics.
Participation in the band remains steady. “We are doing really well, with a lot of new members this year,” Hutchinson said. “I think we have more participants than last year, which is always a good thing.”
McGill’s Community Band of Houlton was organized in 1985 as the fulfillment of David McGillicuddy’s dream. As instrumental director of SAD 29, McGillicuddy dreamed of forming a community band made up of local musicians that would perform in Monument Park on nice summer evenings as had been done in days past by the Houlton Town Band.
McGillicuddy remains with the band, but has traded in his conductor’s baton for a saxophone. “I am a musician at heart so I enjoy this,” he said. “We always introduce new music; that keeps it exciting for me.”
Thanks to a generous donation from the Putnam Trust, McGill’s Community Band has been able to purchase some much needed equipment to keep the music rolling. Those funds were used for items such as new chairs at the Houlton Amphitheatre for the band, money to repair damage to a storage shed and the purchase of a canopy for the band’s flatbed trailer that is used for the July 4 parade.
Outdoor concerts are performed at 7 p.m. every Thursday (weather permitting) in Monument Park in the Houlton Amphitheater. The band also will perform at the Midnight Madness celebration on Friday, July 3, and participates in Houlton’s Fourth of July parade. The summer concert season ends Aug. 15.