At our last reunion, Wilbur Smith retired as conductor of the NMA Concert Band and handed the baton to Ray Ascione. This year, Ray took up his duties and led the band through four days of focused, productive rehearsal, culminating in a Friday-night concert that was varied, entertaining and, to be sure, patriotic. As an example of the volunteerism underlying this year's reunion, Ray didn't just lead the band; when our guest conductors, Peter Graves and Frank Mullen, stood at the podium, Ray sat in the saxophone section.
After an evening of marches, Broadway medleys, seafaring favorites, and new arrangements, the concert concluded with Carmen Dragon's arrangement of America, the Beautiful.
|In the absence of a tuba section, trumpeter Don |
Junker held up the low end on the contrabass.