AUBURN – The Auburn Community Band, under the direction of Milt Simon, will kick off its annual series of weekly outdoor evening concerts at Festival Plaza in downtown Auburn on Wednesday, June 15.

The 7 p.m. performance will be the first of 11 programs to be offered this summer at the Main Street location. The free concerts will continue each Wednesday evening through Aug. 24, weather permitting. Free parking is available in the new parking garage located across the street from the plaza.

This year marks the 24th season for band conductor Milt Simon. In the fall of 1981, Simon organized 15 individuals to first form the Auburn Adult Band. Today, the group numbers 54 volunteer musicians, ranging in age from 14 to 80. Together, they represent a total of 16 central and southern Maine communities.

“This organization gives many individuals a chance to utilize musical talents neglected since their high school days, and the entire community benefits,” said Simon. Simon added that the Auburn group “is one of the larger community bands in the state of Maine, and commonly attracts an average of 400 to 500 people to its weekly concerts.”

In 1999, in recognition of his efforts, the city of Auburn named Simon its Volunteer of the Year. Simon, a longtime resident of Durham, is director of training for the Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union in Brunswick, Freeport and Topsham.

The June 15 opening night performance will feature many new songs, which the band has added to its repertoire during the winter rehearsals. The program will include some classic tunes by Cole Porter, a medley of Broadway show tunes composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a tribute to Harold Arlen, and a lively arrangement of some well-known Latin melodies. Several audience favorites from the past two decades will be included, as well.

Throughout the next two months, the band will present a different musical theme and selection of songs each Wednesday evening. The entire concert program scheduled for this summer is as follows:

June 15, “Opening Night, 24th Season”; June 22, “Forgotten But Unforgettable”; June 29, “Music Heard Around the World”; July 6, “An Evening of Patriotic Music”; July 13, “Music of Famous Composers”; July 20, “It’s Show Time!”; July 27, “Famous Groups and People”; Aug. 3, “America’s Favorite Songs”; Aug. 10, “Big Band and Dance Music”; Aug. 17, “Take Two”; and Aug. 24, “The Auburn Community Band’s Greatest Hits.”

People planning to attend any of the Wednesday evening performances should bring their own lawn chairs and are advised to arrive well before the 7 p.m. concert time.

The band is co-sponsored by the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department, HRH/Dunlap Corp. and the Gleason Radio Group. For more information, call the APRD at 784-0191 or visit the band’s Web site at

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