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Main Street: A Sesquicentennial Celebration was commissioned by the Newmarket Citizen’s Band to celebrate 150 years of continuous service to the community of Newmarket, Ontario, making it Canada’s oldest operating community band. The title Main Street conjures up images and themes that speak to the Band’s long enduring history and service to the town. It is where the Band has participated in countless historic celebrations, civic ceremonies and parades over the last 150 years. What is a celebration without a fanfare to begin our musical journey! This is followed by a dance-like melody that harkens back to a time when the band would have provided music at community dances. The middle section of the work features a slow lament, Roslyn Castle. This is an air that appears in a programme the band performed in 1886 and that is held in the Newmarket Historical Society’s Archives. It seemed an appropriate choice to include in this composition given this and is initially scored for solo brass as a further nod to the band’s historical beginnings as a brass band. The lament’s conclusion leads to a return of the dance-like melody, but something has changed. The music is treated differently here than in the opening section: a bit of the past, but changed in ways to reflect on what is yet to come. The work concludes with a return to the fanfare, a fitting conclusion and a celebration of the band’s long history of community involvement.
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