The Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission through a generous donation from The Westerhoff School of Music & Art presented the Brio Symphonic Band in an Independence Day Concert on Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. on the Metuchen High School Lawn. Hundreds were in attendance and enjoyed the wonderful afternoon sun with the even more wonderful music. Metuchen resident Edward Logue, former Supervisor of Music and Band Director at Metuchen High School led the band. He is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Arkansas. Since his retirement in 1995, Mr. Logue has worked as a freelance percussionist in the area and organized and conducted the Metuchen Gala Centennial Concert and the Metuchen 9/11 Memorial Concert.
Metuchen soprano enchants audience in July 4 concert
We couldn’t have made a better choice: on Sunday, July 4, three friends of mine and I had decided to attend the late afternoon “Independence Day Concert” by the Brio Symphonic Band presented by the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission. We settled down on the shady Metuchen High School lawn amidst a lively crowd already buzzing with anticipation.
Conductor Edward Logue set the mood with the patriotic Civil War Suite “The Blue and the Gray” by C. Grundman followed by a Suite for Military Band by G. Holst.
Soprano soloist Barbara J. Smith entertained us with a stunningly beautiful performance of songs from “The Sound of Music.” Ms. Smith immediately captured the audience with her lively rendition of these popular songs, her beautiful voice soaring effortlessly and joyfully in celebration of our national holiday. We were absolutely thrilled. We hadn’t expected such a professional performance on a hot Fourth of July afternoon! Later in the program, Ms. Smith charmed again with selections from “The King and I” with her brilliant voice and engaging stage presence.
The Brio Symphonic Band, expertly conducted by Mr. Logue, kept us in a cheerful and festive mood with a medley of Gershwin songs (“Fascinating Rhythm” etc.), a piece by Sousa, a St. Louis Blues March, and other nicely arranged popular tunes. David Schneck on flügelhorn performed a haunting adagio based on a theme by Spanish composer J. Rodrigo. Veterans were expressly honored by a medley of service songs.
When it was time for “America the Beautiful,” Ms. Smith invited us all to join in, and we did so enthusiastically. Abundant applause followed.
Bravo, Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission and Recording Industry Music Performance Fund/Local 204-373, for making this wonderful concert possible.
We went home exhilarated. What a day!
Poldi Binder Highland Park