The W.D. Packard Concert Band played its first concert in 1955, but band music existed in Packard Park long before its inception.
The band will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first outdoor concert at Packard Park with a performance Sunday at the south lawn band shell of Packard Music Hall.
Thomas Groth, executive director of the band, said Trumbull County historian Wendell Lauth was instrumental in helping put together the information for the concert
''We were talking about a year ago about when music started in Packard Park,'' Groth said. ''We figured out this would be the 100th anniversary, so we started planning for this.''
That first concert was played by the Warren Municipal Band, which was formed in 1911 at the urging of the Warren Daily Tribune, according to the history prepared by Lauth. The outdoor concert on May 26, 1912, originally was planned for the new Court House Square Band Stand, but when construction wasn't finished in time, W.D. Packard invited the band to use Packard Park.
Lauth will talk about the band and its first concert in a presentation at 2:15 p.m. Sunday in the lobby of Packard Music Hall. An eight-page program with information on the Warren Municipal Band and the Packard Concert Band will be passed out to all attendees, and the first 400 people will received a sepia-toned, postcard-sized photo of the Warren Municipal Band with a brief history on the back.
WHAT: 100th anniversary of the first Packard Park Band Concert with W.D. Packard Concert Band with Donald W. Byo, conductor, and Scott Shelsta, trombone
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday with pre-concert lecture by historian Wendell Lauth at 2:15 p.m.
WHERE: South lawn band shell of Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren
HOW MUCH: Admission is free. Funding is provided by W.D. Packard trust. For more information, call 330-841-2931.
Most of the music for Sunday's concert, conducted by Donald W. Byo, will be drawn from the first programs played by the Warren Municipal Band.
''We'll open with 'Semper Fidelis,' and that was the first number they opened the concert with in Packard Park in 1912,'' Groth said.
The band also commissioned Jerry Ascione to create a new arrangement of Irving Berlin's ''Alexander's Ragtime Band,'' which was written in 1911.
''I had him arrange it in all of the music styles of the last 100 years,'' Groth said. ''It starts in ragtime, goes to dixieland, and it has parts in all of the popular styles in the last 100 years.''
Joining the band for Sunday's concert will be Scott Shelsta, who was trombone soloist with the United States Army Band ''Pershing's Own'' from 1974 to 2004. Shelsta specializes in recreating the performances of trombonist Arthur Pryor, who played with John Philip Sousa's band.
''He does all of his solos and even dresses like him in the old uniforms they wore then,'' Groth said.
Shelsta will perform his own arrangements of ''Thoughts of Love,'' ''Oh Dry Those Tears'' and ''Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White'' and will be joined by the Packard trombone section on ''Shoutin' Liza Trombone.''
Other selections for the program include L.J.F. Herold's ''Zampa'' overture, Stephen Foster's ''Gentle Annie,'' O.R. Farrar's ''Dana Musical Institute'' and ''Trumbull Club'' marches, Philip J. Lang's ''Musical Memories'' overture, ''Lida Rose'' from the musical ''The Music Man'' and Sousa's ''Stars and Stripes Forever.''