Seacoast Wind Ensemble Presents
“Serenade for World Peace – Best of the Band Concerts 1905-07”
Portsmouth NH (June 1, 2007) – Thanks to intensive historical research in period newspapers, local library collections and musical archives throughout the country, Seacoast Wind Ensemble conductor Richard C. Spicer has assembled a collection of band music performed in Portsmouth in 1905 during the negotiations to end “World War Zero,” the Russo-Japanese War. The concerts by local town bands and military bands brought to
The Seacoast Wind Ensemble and the
Additional Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary events this summer include a performance of “The Peace of Portsmouth” by Pontine Theatre on August 26 at 2 pm. A Peace Flag Raising ceremony at Green Acre Baha’i School in Eliot ME on September 2 at 2 pm, the annual Treaty Signing Commemoration at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at 3:47 pm on September 5th followed by bell-ringing throughout the city, a Portsmouth Peace Treaty/Labor Day parade later in September and the Theodore Roosevelt Nobel Peace Prize Commemoration on December 10th. The Portsmouth Peace Treaty exhibit runs from May 26 through October 31 at the
Mr. Spicer began his research during the Treaty centennial in 2005, in order to make the music associated with the Treaty available again for performance. Various kinds of music were performed in 1905-07 including pieces related to the war, the Treaty, the commemoration of peace and celebrating the crucial role of Theodore Roosevelt, who became the first American President to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts. Several programs featured this music at 100th Anniversary events, including Portsmouth Peace Treaty Concerts, re-enactments, and the State Dinner on September 5th, where Mr. Spicer accompanied noted singers in dramatic vocal selections. But it was not until he was chosen in 2006 to direct the Seacoast’s own popular Seacoast Wind Ensemble that the opportunity arose to focus more on music from military band concerts and other entertainments during the summer of 1905 as well as local town band and Treaty anniversary concerts in 1907. Now the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, with the support of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee, will make performances of the historical band music an annual part of the Treaty commemorations.
“We are bringing back to life the best selections from the band concerts heard during those years,” said Spicer. “People should not think for a minute that this is ‘historical music’ retrieved from a cabinet of curiosities and dusted off only for those with academic and esoteric interests. This is a stirring program that everyone can enjoy, featuring popular favorites of the day, from familiar marches by John Philip Sousa to medleys from the latest theatrical productions, played by the Portsmouth City Band in 1905. In addition, we are including songs and marches written by composers around the country to celebrate the historic event that happened here and the role of President Roosevelt as ‘Peacemaker’; these were all scored for bands, and celebrate peace achieved, which has relevance in every age. We are also excited to be using scores from the Exeter Town Band Library—a local treasure trove of historic band music from the oldest continuing town band in this state, going back to 1847."
About The Seacoast Wind Ensemble (www.seacoastwindensemble.org)
Founded in 1984, the Seacoast Wind Ensemble is a 50-piece, all-volunteer community concert band dedicated to providing excellence in music performance and education in the tradition of the great American bands of the Sousa years (ca. 1880-1930). Members range from qualified students to adults of all ages and, all together, compose a wonderful set of talented musicians from all walks of life. Programs throughout the year incorporate a wide and varied repertoire ranging from stirring marches to classics of the concert band repertoire, band arrangements of symphonic favorites, innovative pieces by contemporary composers, Broadway and jazz medleys, and the latest and liveliest popular selections. As one of the region’s premier concert bands, the ensemble is known as well for the celebration of Seacoast history and culture from the region it represents along the New England shore—from
About Director Richard C. Spicer
A resident of