A historic tradition continues this year as the Jamestown Municipal Band entertains the community at Allen Park.
The Jamestown Municipal Band, directed by Rick Lundquist, will perform three more Wednesday concerts at 7 p.m. in the Allen Park Goranson Bandshell. The performances are set for July 10, 17 and 31.
According to Julia Ciesla-Hanley, recreation coordinator for the Jamestown Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, the event adds to the quality of life of the neighborhood.
The Jamestown Municipal Band is shown performing during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Lake View Cemetery. The group will perform at the Allen Park Goranson Bandshell on several Wednesdays through July.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
"For the people who live in the neighborhoods around Allen Park, the concert series provides an opportunity to listen from their front yards to live music performed by talented, local musicians," said Ciesla-Hanley. "This is a free cultural offering that can be enjoyed by every age group."
The series has been held in Allen Park since the 1950s, and has been held annually since the construction of the Goranson Bandshell in 1966.
"You would have to travel to the Erie or Buffalo area to hear a band of this quality providing such a wide range of music," said Lundquist. "The band provides an outlet for many area adult musicians to continue playing after high school. It plays a wide variety of music that most school bands or other musical groups no longer play as much, but that people still recognize and enjoy."
According to Lundquist, in addition to offering a free, family-friendly event, the Allen Park Women's Club provides refreshments at a reasonable price. And, the money raised by the group benefits the Allen Park area.
"Even though the money to sponsor these concerts is harder to get than before, many local organizations continue to step up and offer their support," said Lundquist. "That alone shows the fact that many people in the community believe it should continue. We continue to look for additional sponsors to help us perform even more often."
In addition to its normal performances, the group gives several themed concerts such as: "Broadway and Hollywood," "Light Classical" and "Patriotic." The recent Independence Day "Patriotic Salute" performance was well received by the community, said Lundquist.
"The program was received well as indicated by the very large crowd that was present," said Lundquist. "Members of local Veteran's organizations presented our colors, and members of the Armed Forces, as well as the SEABEES and Merchant Marine were honored. This is the only Independence Day program like this in the entire area. Music that celebrated America was also performed, and the audience even had a chance to sing along."
Besides performing in Allen Park, members of the band march in the Memorial Day Parade and perform at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery.
The group will also perform during the Scandinavian Folk Festival, which will be held July 19-21 at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds.
"We will play a wide range of Scandinavian music, written by native Danish, Norwegian and Swedish composers, and well as American composers with a background from one of those countries," said Lundquist.
The group will also host a special concert on July 31, featuring the Scandinavian Studies Program. According to Lundquist, the program works to keep the Scandinavian culture alive in the area.
"On our final concert in Allen Park on July 31, we will partner with them (the Scandinavian Studies Program) and combine our music with folk musicians and folk dancers for a very special evening," said Lundquist. "Refreshments will include traditional Swedish foods. It should be a wonderful night of entertainment."
According to Ciesla-Hanley, there are many good reasons why the community should support this historic tradition, many of which become clear to attendees upon participating.
"The natural beauty of Allen Park combined with the musical talent of the Jamestown Municipal Band results in an evening well spent," said Ciesla-Hanley. "This is a chance not to just hear great music, but to connect with other people in the community. Often people associate going to an orchestra or wind ensemble concert with sitting quietly in dress clothes in a concert hall, however the outdoor concert series is meant to be casual and neighborly."
For more information call 483-7523, visit jamestownny.net or search for "Jamestown Parks" on Facebook.
Many other Chautauqua County communities host bandshell concerts as well. Every Wednesday, Findley Lake hosts a gazebo concert series which starts at 7 p.m. Each Thursday area residents can enjoy live music at two steeper locations, including: Lakewood Gazebo from 7-8:30 p.m. and the Acoustics on the Lake series at Long Point State Park from 6-9 p.m. Each Saturday at 7 p.m. the Busti Hamlet Development Group hosts a concert series at the Busti Gazebo.