Book the Band
The Band tries to schedule one concert a month during the months of September through May, and two concerts a month during the summer. Over the past several years, the Band has developed a tradition of playing one of the July concerts at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate on Independence Day. Other dates tend to fill up early. Most of the Band’s engagements are in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (which stretches from Baltimore and Annapolis to Manassas), but with plenty of advance notice, we are amenable to engagements in other locations. The Band does not have a travel budget, so expenses for engagements out of the local area must be borne by the sponsoring organization. The National Concert Band Committee will address stipends to help cover local expenses.
Click here to see sample programs from our concerts.
Performance Logistics for the Band
- The Band uses a traditional four semi-circle seating arrangement approximately 40’ wide by 30’ deep.
- A hard semicircular shell is a nicety and will complement and project the sound of the Band. Lacking a shell, a hard surface extending across the rear of the Band is desirable. Curtains (stage or otherwise) tend to soak up sound, and so are undesirable. If present, it is hoped that they can be raised or opened exposing a hard surface to reflect sound.
- If risers are used, each row must be wide enough to accommodate a chair and its occupant with a music stand in front of the chair. The left rear quadrant looking at the Band must be flat to accommodate percussion instruments, and other risers must not be in front of the percussion area so that players seated on them would block the sightlines of the percussionists.
* Lighting is critical. Lights should be strong from directly overhead wherever possible, and brightly illuminate the entire seating area of the Band. Spotlights aimed at the Band from the front will shine directly into the vision of the members, making it difficult or impossible to see the Conductor. If the spots are very high and quite close to the stage, they are usable – otherwise not.
* Up to 65 chairs are needed. These must be substantial (not flexing fiberglass), must not have arms, and should have essentially flat seats. Some instruments are large and heavy (some players too).
* A single switched microphone on a stand, with enough cord to allow placement anywhere from stage right to center is needed. Wireless is quite acceptable, but a stand is still needed. Lavaliere mikes are not workable.
* The Band can make individual stand lights available if the overhead light is insufficient for reading relatively small print by adults ranging from age 35-85. These require strategically placed electrical outlets surrounding the performance area and significant additional set-up time to string the wires throughout the Band’s set-up. They are quite inconvenient and a ‘last resort’, but if they are required, notification is necessary at the time of booking the performance.
* The Band moves its equipment in a large trailer. It is best that there be access to the performance area directly from the outside, and that the trailer can be positioned just outside that access and left there (or very nearby with a direct, clear return) during the performance.
* There are 6 members of the Band over the age of eighty, and several others who can be considered ‘Seniors’, several of them playing and carrying larger instruments. For many of these, parking close to the performance venue is critical. Even better, providing Handicapped Parking spaces for these performers would be appreciated. Many other members have no problem, but it is essential that there be at least several available parking spaces very close to the venue’s entrance.