The Rockville Concert Band was founded in 1957 with Frank R. Troy, Jr. as its original director. The subsequent directors include: Steven and Carol Barnes (Co-directors, 1975 to 1977), Dr. Robert Tennyson, (1978 to 1994), and Dr. Vincent Patterson (1995 to 2010). The band is currently under the direction of John Saint Amour.
The Band is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which provides many new opportunities beyond the support of the City of Rockville including tax-deductible donations. Currently, the total membership in the band is about 70. Band members volunteer their services with rehearsals taking place once a week throughout the year. The band members “in their other lives” have various backgrounds including the sciences, medicine, music, teaching, and computer technology.
All types of music are performed including classical transcriptions for band, original compositions for concert band, Dixieland, marches, selections from Broadway musicals, and music from the big band era. Typically six indoor concerts are played during the fall, winter and spring seasons at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre located in the Rockville Civic Center Park. Part of the indoor concert season is the holiday concert in December and the Young People’s Concert in April. Our outdoor season includes concerts at the Memorial Day ceremonies for Rockville, the Rockville 4th of July celebration, and the Antique and Classic Auto Show in October on the grounds of the Rockville Civic Center. The band has also played outdoor concerts at Wheaton and Cabin John Regional Parks, at the Maryland Community Band Day, and at Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Two memorable events for the band were European concert tours. The first, in 1989, was a 15-day tour with concerts in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and a final concert in Rockville’s sister city of Pinneberg near Hamburg, Germany. The second, in 1994, was a 17-day tour with concerts in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Both of these tours were wonderful opportunities to raise the level of musicianship, to become closer as a group, and to “see the world.”
The Rockville Concert Band welcomes new programmatic opportunities. In recent years the Band has been expanding its programmatic efforts to increase outreach to a broader audience in the community and to give musicians more opportunities to perform. Programs have included showcasing high school musicians who aspire to pursue music and music performance as a profession. Additionally, the band has formed small ensembles that pull together musicians from different sections in the band. These ensembles include the Rockville Swing Band and the Rockville German Band. The goal is to reach audiences where it might be impractical for the entire band to perform.