The HILLCREST CONCERT BAND had its beginning as a summer music experience for
Brush High School band students and adult musicians in the community in the
early 1950's. After several years as a summer only band, there was a desire
among many of the community musicians to have an adult community concert band
program throughout the entire year. In the fall of 1955, Frank Miller, the
Brush High School band director who had been conducting the summer band, formed
the HILLCREST CONCERT BAND. From this nucleus has grown the present band of
over 60 dedicated musicians who have performed over 1300 concerts during the
almost 60 years since its founding. Thanks to long-time former President Robert
Kautz, much of the history and many of its programs were saved. This year, the band will be playing musical favorites as we begin our 60th year as a concert band.
Some band friends have asked where our name came from. Hillcrest was the name of
the telephone exchange covering the band's initial home base which is the
South Euclid-Lyndhurst area. The band was named after the area where we started
and where SELREC (South Euclid-Lyndhurst Recreation) has given the band much
support by providing rehearsal space. The HILLCREST CONCERT BAND still has a
number of members from the original area but, of course, also has many members
from throughout Northeast Ohio. The band also tries to schedule a number of
concerts in the South Euclid/Lyndhurst area because of the local support that
the band gets.
The HILLCREST CONCERT BAND is now recognized as one of the finest adult
community bands in the nation. With a full compliment of instruments
represented, the band achieves a balance that enables it to perform from the
full range of concert band literature - music of the masters, overtures,
Broadway show music, swing and rag-time, solo and ensembles, patriotic music
and a variety of American and international marches.
In 1995, the HILLCREST CONCERT BAND celebrated its 40th anniversary year. As
part of the celebration, the band was honored to accept an invitation to
perform in June 1996 at the 34th Kmochuv Kolin, an international band
festival at Kolin, Czeck Republic. Several concerts were performed in the Kolin
area including the Monsterkoncert with all of the musicians playing
together the music of Franticek Kmoch. The band continued its tour visiting
four other European countries and performing nine concerts during this
successful and enjoyable tour.
The band traveled "down under" in 1999 to accept an invitation to
perform at the 10th International Music Festival in Sydney, Australia. After a
few concerts and sight seeing in New Zealand, they flew on to Cairns,
Queensland, Australia where they presented the annual "Fourth of
July" concert at a big celebration in a downtown band shell. A visit to
the Great Barrier Reef and a trip into the rain forest was a fascinating
experience; then the band went on to Sydney for the festival. There were
several performance here including one on the Orchestra Hall stage of the famed
Sydney Opera House where the band received a Silver Award for its performance.
A cruise to Alaska was enjoyed by the HILLCREST CONCERT BAND in 2002. Two
concerts were presented aboard the Royal Caribbean "Vision of the Sea".
The Mayor of Juneau, Alaska joined the band during part of the concert there
and in Ketchikan, the band played in the Discovery Center Auditorium.
Sight-seeing included the Hubbard Glacier, the White Pass and Yukon Railway at
Skagway, and Buchart Gardens in Victroria. In Vancouver, the band united with
the Richmond Community Band in a joint concert.
The band celebrated its 50th year of music making in 2005 - its Golden Anniversary. As a part of our summer tour, the band visited Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England finishing our tour by participating in a wind band festival just outside of London where the band was presented with a silver award for its performance. The band's 2005 summer tour concluded with a joint concert with the Case Western Reserve Band at Cleveland's newly refurbished Severance Hall on October 16. Music featuring the rich heritage of the band will be performed at all of our concerts. The band's motto is: "More Music For
More Ears", and with the tours that the band has taken, its music will
continue to reach the ears of people around the world.
In 2008, the band completed a very sucessful tour to New York City and Washington, DC. In NYC, the band played a concert at the Naumburg Band Shell in Central Park and gave a concert at Carnegie Hall where we received a standing ovation along with visiting many tourist sights in NYC. We continued on to Washington, DC where the band played at Schlesinger Concert Hall across the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA and participated in a massed band concert at the Jefferson Memorial as well as much sight seeing of the memorials and other sites before returning to Ohio for the balance of its summer and holiday tour schedule.
The 2009 summer tour included 22 concerts throughout Northeast Ohio and also included a concert at the famous Chautauqua Amphitheater in Chautauqua, New York. A series of holiday concerts was also performed in December 2009. In 2011, we have 22 concerts planned during our summer tour plus six holiday concerts in November and December.
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