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North Dana Vespers season begins in Orange 

  • Pioneer Valley Brass members Dick Tandy, Jim Engele, Joe Hoye, Jeri Bannister and Curt Coolidge will be performing a free public concert of holiday music on Sat, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m., at Central Congregational Church in Orange.  This is the 784th in a series of memorial programs funded by the First Universalist Parish of North Dana. —Submitted Photo


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

ORANGE — Advent arrives December 1, and with it comes the season's favorite music. The Pioneer Valley Brass will be performing a free concert of holiday music specially arranged for brass quintet at the Central Congregational Church on South Main Street, Saturday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m. The concert is the 784th in a series of memorial vesper services funded by a trust of the First Universalist Parish of North Dana, which was forced to leave North Dana for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s.  Quabbin was built to provide drinking water for the Boston area, and five towns and parts of other communities were dismantled to dam up the Swift River and create the Reservoir known today. A trust fund started by sisters Mary Hale and Catherine Mason provides funds for musical services at Quabbin area churches and nursing homes in remembrance of the First Universalist Parish of North Dana.

Musicians in the Pioneer Valley Brass are well known throughout the area, and include Dick Tandy and Curtis Coolidge on trumpet, Jim Engele on horn, Jeri Bannister on trombone, and Joe Hoye on tuba.

Dick Tandy received his Bachelor of Music Education from UMass.  He has performed with the Orange Community Band, Petersham Brass Band, Greenfield Military Band, Narragansett Community Band , the Pioneer Valley Symphony, and Marty's Reminisce Orchestra.  He is also a free-lance trumpeter, and sang baritone with "The Grace Notes."

Curt Coolidge has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music degree in Musicology from UMass.  He studied trumpet with Walter Chesnut and Clifford Lillya. Curt has appeared with the Springfield Symphony, the Central Mass Symphony (principal trumpet), the Acadia Players,  and the Pioneer Valley Symphony. He was a founding member of the New England Brass Guild, and is a member of the International Trumpet Guild.

Jim Engele studied Horn with Jane Houlden while pursuing a degree in Music Education in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has performed with the North Shore Philharmionic, the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, Leite Concert Winds, and the Orange Community Band.  He repairs brass instruments for professional musicians from all over the world.

Jeri Bannister  received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Ithaca College School of Music. He received her C.A.G.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her instructors on trombone include Doug Courtwright and Jack Ionata at Syracuse; Tom Everett, Harvard; Max Culpepper and Dave Sporny at UMass, and Doug Nelson at Keene State. She is a member of Flamingo, an all-female Swing Band in Connecticut, the Pioneer Valley Concert Band in Chicopee, and the Brattleboro American Legion Band.  Jeri is a former member of the Pioneer Valley Symphony and is a founding member of the Pioneer Valley Brass. She currently teaches at the Bement School, Northfield Mount Hermon, and Artspace.

Joe Hoye attended Westfield State College and studied Music Performance. Since then he has performed with the Pioneer Valley Symphony and a number of other area ensembles.  He has appeared on many local artist's recordings. Joe is currently a member of the Fanfare Brass Choir and the Holyoke Civic Symphony, where he is Principal Tuba, and his wife, Jodie, is principal Oboist. They live in New Hampshire with their two sons, Declan and Tommy.

Program for Service #784 in Orange includes Joy to the World, arr. by Snell; Riu, Riu Chiu arr. by Marlatt; English Medley, arr. by Boysen, Jr.;  Mary, Did You Know? by Lowry & Greene; On Christmas Night All Christians Sing arr. by Blanton; Still, Still, Still arr. by Marlatt;  Judea, arr. by Price; Sleigh Ride by Anderson; White Christmas Medley by Berlin; The Christmas Song, by Torme; Christmas Garland, arr. by Baldwin; and Jolly Old St. Nicholas, arr. by Gale.  The program is always subject to change.

Other free public programs by the Pioneer Valley Brass, sponsored by the First Universalist Parish of North Dana, will take place Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at the Montague Community Church;  Saturday, Dec. 8 at the First Parish Unitarian of Hubbardston, and Sunday, Dec. 15 at St, Paul's Lutheran Church of Greenfield.


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