In an evening of hot temperatures and cool breezes under the benevolent shade trees of Whittington Park, hundreds of folks came out to enjoy a great concert on June 13 presented by the Hot Springs Concert Band, the first of its 2022 summer series concerts.
Associate conductors Claude Smith and Cody Ford led the band in “Ten Songs We Like.” As it turned out, it was also ten songs most everybody liked – judging from the response and enthusiasm of the crowd. One composition in particular, “Grace Praeludium”, was composed by W. Francis McBeth (1933-2012), a world–renowned composer and conductor who served at Ouachita Baptist University as a Professor, resident composer, and chairman of the Department of Music Theory and Composition. His widow, Mrs. Mary McBeth, honored the concert with her presence. In a very special and poignant moment, the band dedicated Grace Praeludium to her.
The Band is now underway with preparation for its second concert of the summer season. Dr. Craig Hamilton will be back at the podium with baton in hand directing the band in “Travelin’ Music.” Selections include: The Addison Red Line, All Aboard, Among the Clouds, Come Fly with Me, Come Sail Away, Duke Ellington in Concert, Horse and Buggy, Nightflight, Highlights from Oklahoma, Tijuana Brass in Concert, Travelin’ Music and Wabash Cannonball.
The Band’s remaining summer concerts will be on July 11 and July 25, both on Mondays starting at 6:30 pm. The July 11 concert theme is “What’s In a Name?” and the July 25 concert theme is “Dance Music.” We hope you will place these dates on your calendar and make plans to attend one or both of these concerts.
For now, we hope to see you this coming Monday, June 27 at 6:30 pm at Whittington Park for “Travelin’ Music.” Since this is summertime, be sure to bring some water (and snacks if you want them) along with your lawn/camping chair.
The park is located three blocks west of the fountain at the intersection of Central, Whittington and Park Avenues. There is no admission charge for the concert, but everyone will have an opportunity to donate towards the band’s operating expenses. In the event of inclement weather, the alternative indoor venue will be the Fountain Lake school auditorium located at 4207 Park Avenue in Hot Springs.