AUBURN — Never mind the rain that won’t go away.
Start the Fourth of July celebration early by going to Auburn Community Band’s free concert Wednesday night.
This year there’s a rain location, the Hilton Garden Inn’s ballroom. “The Hilton has been generous and reserved the ballroom for the concerts for the summer,” band conductor Milt Simon said.
The concerts are held every Wednesday night from 7 to 8:15. When (if) the rain stops, they will be held outdoors at the downtown Festival Plaza.
Rain prompted an inside concert last week. “It went great. Everyone really enjoyed it,” said Hilton Garden Inn General Manager Scott McKenney. “I heard there was some dancing and revelry.” There is one silver lining with this rain: The falls are beautiful, McKenney said.
Tomorrow’s music will be patriotic, getting attendees in the mood for the Fourth. Tunes will include toe-tapping marches, World War II music and a musical salute to all branches of the military.
The band’s philosophy is that it performs music people know. “We don’t try to educate the audience,” Simon said. “Chances are good that everyone will hear some favorite songs.”
At all concerts, a range of music is performed, he said. “There’s music from all ages.”
Typically, audience attendance grows as the summer wanes. Early summer concerts attract 200; by late August, 400 show up.
Community concerts used to be common throughout Maine. Decades ago, nearly every community had a band. “Now it’s uncommon,” Simon said. “There might be a dozen (statewide).”
People are busy and less likely to commit, and high school programs that feed community bands have shrunk, Simon said.
Live concerts are a good way to introduce children to music appreciation and knowing the difference between a trumpet and a clarinet. “There’s more to live music than guitars and drums,” he said. Attending a band concert as a fourth-grader is how Simon got hooked, he said.
If you go, and are wondering whether the concert will be outdoors or in, the location will be posted on a sign around noon Wednesday at Festival Plaza. For outdoor concerts, bring a lawn chair.
Upcoming concerts will feature: July 8, Latin, Spanish and Hawaiian music; July 15, American classics; July 22, famous composers (Rodgers and Hammerstein); July 29, Broadway, Disney and Sinatra; Aug. 5, big band. For more information go to auburncommunityband.com.

Free concerts in Farmington

Community concerts are also held at the Meetinghouse Park Gazebo in downtown Farmington.
Local artists perform every Monday night from 7 to 9, as well as Sunday afternoons and some weekday afternoons.
Performers include the Old Crow Band, Seminole Wind and Arizona Rose, and Sonny Holland. Concerts are often held even if it’s drizzling. The performers are under cover in the gazebo. Some watch under umbrellas.
“Farmington is an old-fashioned community,” Town Manager Richard Davis said. People enjoy the live music. To see Farmington’s concert schedule, go to http://www.farmington-maine.org/calendar.htm.


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