Strike Up The Summer Band: Belmont’s Once-A-Year Musical Get-Together

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Photo: On stage with the Belmont Summer Community Band.

“You’re playing great,” said Arto Asadoorian as he directs a collection of amateurs and students in a hurry-up rehearsal of an overture from the Disney movie, “Frozen.” 

Yet the drummer has yet to get a feel for the piece, which Asadoorian found a bit amusing.

“What, am I the only person to have seen that film a thousand times?” he wonders aloud from the stage of the Belmont High School auditorium last Tuesday afternoon. 

Unlike the orchestra and bands he directs as Belmont Public School’s Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Asadoorian is putting about 40 residents, students and alum through the paces as the Belmont Community Summer Band prepares for its once-a-year concert on Wednesday, July 29 beginning around 7:30 p.m. at the Payson Park Music Festival.

Now in its second season, the band – filled with brass and woodwinds accompanied by percussions – will be preforming along with “Frozen” several works that are band standards, including those pieces that you’d likely hear at sitting in the town green somewhere in England.

For Asadoorian, who came up with the idea of creating a local band, it’s a chance to keep some of the high schoolers practicing and playing during the summer, an opportunity to welcome back former students and meet skilled amateurs who are looking to spend a few hours for a month – a total of three rehearsals – learning works to enjoy performing.

“In Belmont, we’re fortunate to have such a wealth of musical talent,” said Asadoorian.

“It’s a really nice way to all come together as a community of music makers and have come fun together,” he said. 

There’s an easy rapport between players and conductor; the ensemble takes the music to heart and Asadoorian attempts to shape it into a concert piece despite the limited time together.

There are more hits than misses, with Asadoorian keeping the tempo and atmosphere light.

When a particular passage of music hits the mark, Asadoorian quipped, “Band director of the year – tell them to play what’s on the page.” 

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