Summer Music Fun: Instant Concert

Crystal Lake Community Band bass clarinets
Crystal Lake Community Band concert, June 12, 2012. Yes, that’s me in the middle, honking away on my bass! Photo by David Macaulay; used with permission.

I had high hopes to get the next piece up sometime this week, but life has had other plans for me. I wanted to get something posted, though, so instead I thought I’d introduce you to a staple of school and community bands everywhere: Instant Concert by Harold L. Walters. I’ve played this piece quite a few times in my life – mostly during summer season with various community bands.

Arranged in 1970, this entertaining piece condenses thirty well-known melodies into a span of just over three minutes. Yes, thirty different pieces. It’s insane. It’s goofy. And it’s just plain fun. I believe there’s room for the lighthearted in classical music.

So how many tunes do you recognize?

Instant Concert (by Zeloso Wind Orchestra)

I think Walters shows great skill in weaving all these tunes together. Some of them flow rather naturally into each other. Now and then he has two going on at once. And he takes themes from everywhere: opera, folk music, holiday music, etc.

I’m not going to list all the songs here (come on, at least try to figure some of them out on your own!). However, if you just can’t stand the suspense, head over to Sheet Music Plus* and poke around. They have a full list.

I hope everyone’s having a lovely summer! We’ve been rather wet here in Illinois – we’re certainly making up for the drought we had last year. We’re about halfway through the summer band season, which means lots of evening concerts. If you know someone in a community band or choir, why not make the effort to go hear them perform? The concerts are usually free, you can probably bring a picnic, you’ll be supporting the local arts (and your friend!), and you just might enjoy yourself. Not to mention your friend would be pleased that you took the time to attend a concert. I’m always thankful when I see my friends in the audience. It means a lot to me!

Enough of my soapbox – now go forth and listen to great music!

Crystal Lake Community Band concert, June 12, 2012
Crystal Lake Community Band concert, June 12, 2012. We’re performing at Main Beach in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Photo by David Macaulay; used with permission.

Thanks to the Macaulays for letting me use their pics!

*Disclosure: I am an affiliate with SMP and do earn commissions on sales. However, I linked to them of my own accord in this post.

Lori Archer Sutherland

Lori Archer Sutherland earned a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition degree from the Ohio State University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She composes, performs, and teaches clarinet. She plays bass clarinet with the Crystal Lake Community Band and the Woodstock City Band, clarinet with Winds Off the Lake Woodwind Quintet, and is the founder and organizer of the Knock on Wood Clarinet Choir, where she plays an even bigger clarinet. Check out her site and podcast at tonaldiversions.com