Benajil Rai / Multimedia Director

Benajil Rai

Multimedia Director

Couples Celebrate Valentine’s day with Concert Band at KSC.

Keene State College’s Redfern Art Center echoed with the music of love on Valentine’s day.

Keene State College Music Department organized a concert “Be My Valentine” themed for valentine’s day.

Band Director and Brass Coordinator and Music Education Lecturer Dr. Joshua E. Long said, “I tried to have a little theme for Valentine’s day, being about love. So, the first half, a lot of our pieces were inspired by that. Second half was love for that piece.”

The concert started with the song “Elsa’s Procession To The Cathedral(1938). In the song, Elsa is a princess in Brabant. The other songs were Fantasia on “ black Is the Color (of my True Love’s Hair)” (2005), “Variations on a Theme of Wondrous Love” (1987), “Our Flirtation” (1880), “Suite on Greek Love Songs” (1984) and ended with “1812 Overture” (1904).

Six songs were performed at the concert. The performers were both Keene State College students as well as community members.

Music Education major Bryce Jones said, “It’s like a class slash ensemble. Some music education majors or music majors in general, they had to take a type of ensemble. So, it is like a class for music majors, but anybody can join. “

Jones performed in the concert and was positive about its turnout, and said,, “I played the flute… I loved it. I thought all our pieces went together very well. And I think the audience enjoyed it.”

Many senior couples attended the concert. It was also a homecoming experience for Professor Emeritus Douglas Nelson. Nelson is a retired professor of Keene State College and Chairman of the Keene State Music Department.

Nelson said, “I was the conductor of this band for 35 years, from 1976 until I retired in 2006, and current conductor invited me.”   

Nelson conducted one of the pieces called “Suite on Greek Love Songs”  in the concert.

The Concert also brought old memories to retired band member William Chase, who played clarinet and saxophone for 25 years for the band.  Chase said, “This band has a number of community members. And this was the wonderful part that Mr. Nelson initiated. He invited the members of the community to come in and be part of the band. And that’s how I got the opportunity…”

Chase was a surgeon for 25 years in Keene, and retired about 20 years ago. He said being a part of an orchestra was one of his ways to relax, ”To come to rehearsal each week and work with the orchestra. And then I did not have to think about medicine. I could just think about music.”

Chase watched the concert as an audience member, but he wished he could play as a band member again. Chase said, “It sounds wonderful. I wish I was sitting there… It makes me feel like I could be right there, being a part of it.”

The Concert Band class meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening.The class does a concert twice a semester. Long said, “We are doing a Franz von Suppé concert. [Suppé] was born in 200 years ago in April. He was an orchestra conductor, but a lot of his music is played in bands. So we are gonna do it for the concert band.”

The next concert will be on April 25.

Benajil Rai can be contacted at

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