Event Marks Debut of Band’s ‘No-Tickets-Required’ Performances
MELBOURNE, FL, October 20, 2009 – The Melbourne Municipal Band will feature two acclaimed conductors when it presents two ‘Hands Across the Sea” concerts at 7:30 p.m. November 18 and 19 at the Melbourne Auditorium.
Maestro Derek Stannard, a native of England, and Colonel Hal Gibson (U.S. Army Retired), will combine their talents and longtime professional experience to present a unique and interesting concert featuring the music of Great Britain and America. The backgrounds of these two highly acclaimed musicians represent more than 100 years of conducting, performing, teaching, adjudicating and presenting scholarly seminars.
Maestro Stannard, who has conducted extensively in Canada, Germany, Holland and France, will conduct the music of his home country, and Hal Gibson, a notable military and university band conductor, will present the music of America.
Selections from the program include the Hands Across the Sea March by John Philip Sousa, the London Suite by Eric Coates, Nimrod from the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar, the Colonel Bogey March, Selections from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, and the music of Stephen Foster.
About Derek Stannard
Stannard’s career began in his teens at the Royal College of Music, where he was invited as a trumpet player to join the world-renowned Halle Orchestra, under the direction of Sir John Barbirolli. He has played with the BBC Television Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, and the BBC Opera Orchestra.
After joining the military, Stannard was posted to Canada, where he was chosen to attend the Royal Military School of Music in London, England and graduated first in his class. He was granted the Queen’s Commission and subsequently appointed Director of Music of the National Band and Orchestra of the Canadian Armed Forces. Upon retiring from the military, he moved to South Florida and was the conductor of the Boca Pops from 1962 to 1996. He now makes his home in Viera.
About Hal Gibson
Gibson’s long and distinguished Army career includes assignments such as bandleader at the Military Academy at West Point, commander and conductor of the Army’s showcase musical ambassadors, and the U.S. Army Field Band. He was selected from the bandleaders of all the services to form and conduct the Department of Defense Band, which toured the country during the period of the Bicentennial.
During an earlier assignment in Germany, his 4th Armored Division Band won first prize in both concert playing and marching in the International Band Competition held in Erlangen, Germany with 80 bands from 22 countries participating.
After retiring from the Army, Gibson was appointed director of bands and professor of music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. In 2004, he was installed in the National Hall of Fame for Distinguished Band Conductors. Gibson and his wife, Marie, reside at Indian River Colony Club in Viera, and he has remained active in a wide number of musical activities to include conducting and adjudicating music festivals on a national level.
There is no charge for the concert and tickets are no longer required. The move is part of the MMB’s goal to make concert attendance easy for its audience and to save costs and eliminate the environmental impact of ticket printing. Call 724-0555 or visit www.mmband.org for more information.
About the Melbourne Municipal Band
The Melbourne Municipal Band, established in 1965, plays free concerts for the citizens of Brevard County nearly every month, and also contributes to the community through parades, patriotic concerts and ceremonial performances. Some 30 percent of the band’s 80-plus members are professional musicians. In a typical year, the band serves 69,000 concert attendees, and its members give 27,000 hours of community service in the form of rehearsals and performance time.
Carmen L. Bright
Marketing Communications Associates, Inc.