Thursday, December 3, 2015

Free library concert to spotlight Martinez band

(Originally published in the 12/3/15 edition)

   Why shell out hundreds of dollars to see great music performed live? You can see it in your local community for free at your local library.
   The Diablo Regional Concert Band will be performing its annual winter concert at the Benicia Public Library, Dec. 11. The Martinez-based group has been performing for over a century, having first come together in 1910 as the Martinez Liberty Band. It eventually became the Diablo Regional Concert Band and has been performing with various conductors ever since.
   The all-volunteer band has performed annually for the Pleasant Hill Fourth of July Parade, Benicia’s Holy Ghost Parade and various events for the Benicia Yacht Club. The band has also performed multiple times at the Golden Gate Park Band Festival in San Francisco.
   According to Library Director Fran Martinez Coyne, the band first became involved with the library over a decade ago when then-conductor Frank Cavoto approached staff about the possibility of performing there. 
   “He wanted to play in the fireplace area, which is the first time anyone had ever done that,” Coyne said. “He really liked the sound.”
   The group has since gone on to perform two annual concerts a year, one in the spring and one in the winter. 
   “The band has found that the library is a wonderful place to perform, the acoustics are great and the audience is always responsive,” Martens said.
   Coyne says the band is a huge hit among audience members.
   “The community does enjoy seeing them,” she said. “I have regulars who ask about whether the band is coming. I always get rave reviews.”
  The band will perform a special holiday show. The concert will include favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” “I'll Be Home for Christmas” and a piece of Hanukkah songs.
   Coyne admires the band’s devotion to its audiences.
   “I’ve seen their dedication through the years,” she said. “Even if it’s raining, I’ve had people coming in. It’s just a very nice group of core people.”

   The Diablo Regional Concert Band will be performing 7:30 p.m., Friday Dec. 11 in the Library’s fireplace area. The concert is free and appropriate for all ages. For more information, contact the Library at (707)-746-4343. For more information on the band, visit

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