by Nicole Griet
The 134-year-old Quakertown Band will bring not only history but Dixieland, Big Band and Swing music to the Pastorius Park concert series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6.
Composed of 45 amateur and semi-professional musicians of all ages, the Quakertown Band has a little something for everyone. Founded in 1877, the band has a close and unique connection with the music that they have been playing for decades.
The July 6 concert will focus on the music of John Philip Sousa Willow Grove Park by paying tribute to Sousa’s 25th year of appearing there in 1926. That appearance was his last and marked the end of the era when the park was known as “America’s Summer Music Capital”.
Richard Karschner, the band’s conductor, has been a high school band director for more than 30 years and recently retired as a supervisor of music at Upper Dublin School District. He has directed award-winning concerts, marching and jazz bands and more than 25 musicals.
The band will perform “With Pleasure” and “March of the Mitten Men” by Sousa, pieces that were composed specifically to be performed at Willow Grove Park. Further sections will feature swing-era performances, and baritone vocalist Keith Spencer will perform selections from the Duke Ellington and Cole Porter songbooks.
The Pastorius Park Concert Series is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association, the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital.