Forty years of harmony

Lloyd Glick has played the trumpet for almost 80 years.

Forty of those have been with the Huntington Beach Concert Band, where he is the oldest player and the only remaining pioneer member.

"I just love playing the trumpet and enjoy the companionship of musical groups," said Glick, 89, who has also spent time with community bands in Los Angeles, Lakewood, Long Beach and Fountain Valley. "It's second nature for me."

Starting this weekend, the 80-piece troupe will host a concert series at 5 p.m. every Sunday throughl Sept. 1. The performances, which are free to the public, will be held in Central Park in Huntington Beach, behind the Central Library. Moonlight Express, Night Blooming Jazzmen and Bob DeSena are on the roster, along with La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashé and Wise Guys, who will take the stage for the first time this year.

Up first is the Huntington Beach Concert Band, which will kick off the summer series with an Americana program, under the tagline "Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4 all rolled into one. Let's wave the red, white and blue."

Bands make the cut for the annual event based on "how well the audience will respond, and so there's a variety of different performing groups in the park," said concert band music director Thomas Ridley, who shares the responsibility with its general manager, Linda Couey.

Ridley, a 40-year resident of Huntington Beach, heard about the local concert band at a monthly teacher meeting during his stint as a music director at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills. He auditioned for the position and "has been here ever since," he said.

That was in spring 1977.

Since then, he has worked hard at selecting the group's music and preparing for performances, all while trying to "give everyone a fun time."

Fun has certainly been had because music aficionados from Azusa, Irvine, Seal Beach, Long Beach and even Temecula cart saxophones, clarinets, trombones, tubas, cymbals and more to weekly rehearsals in Marina High School's band room.

According to Glick, stories about Ridley's talent make the rounds and attract musicians. That's also what encourages them to stay, he said.

"I think we have held our people for so long because of the friendships they develop in the band," said Glick, a 73-year Huntington Beach resident. "There's a lot of social interaction — we have annual parties — and quite a few people form long-standing friendships."

Ridley, 67, believes that the glue that holds the group together is a "love of playing music and sharing it with others."

The Huntington Beach Concert Band is currently in its 40th year and stays afloat because of donations. Ridley said donors have been "very supportive."

The troupe decided to celebrate its anniversary in a big way by asking a few musicians to write original compositions for the upcoming performances.

One such example is "Of Surf and Shore," which Gavin Lendt of Lenexa, Kan., was commissioned to create. Lendt attended Northwest Missouri State University with John McGilligan, who plays clarinet for the Huntington Beach band and will travel to the concert July 28 for the world premiere of his song.

"Tom wanted a triumphal-sounding piece with a slower, lush ballad in the middle," Lendt said of the 10-minute number, which was created over three days. "Kind of like a Mallomar … actually more like a Cadbury egg, but not as sweet."

Lendt, 36, credits the nursery rhyme "Itsy Bitsy Spider" for sparking his interest in music as a child. Having written a few hundred works for band, orchestra and choir in the years since, he is now looking forward to hearing "Of Surf and Shore" live.

Ridley believes the concert series, frequented by church groups and picnickers, is an opportunity for "good family and fun time."

"Folks can get out of their houses and listen to good music," he said. "It's nice and relaxing, and [the weather is] almost always sunny."

Glick, who has spent most of his tenure with the concert band seated next to current principal trumpet player Mark Del Hoyo — a significantly younger, but very close friend — will also be there.

So will another bandmate who's particularly dear to Glick: his wife of 38 years, Judy, who plays flute.

"At first, I didn't know a soul, and now I have a whole bunch of friends," Glick said. "Musicians tend to pretty much hang together. That's just the way it is."

If You Go

What: Huntington Beach Concert Band's Summer Series 2013 "Concerts in the Park"

Where: Huntington Beach Central Park behind the Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach

When: 5 p.m. every Sunday through Sept. 1

Cost: Free


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