The W.D. Packard Concert Band will celebrate its 57th anniversary with a concert Sunday at Packard Music Hall.
The program will feature the debut of ''The Great American Songbook: The Music of Cole Porter,'' an arrangement commissioned by the band and created by Gerald J. Ascione.
Ascione, a 1975 Dana School of Music graduate, played French horn with the U.S. Naval Academy Band was selected as pianist for the Navy's premiere jazz ensemble, the Commodores, in 1980. With that group, he performed with and wrote arrangements for such jazz greats at Milt Hinton, Snooky Young and Grover Washington Jr. As a composer and arranger for the Navy Concert Band, his works were performed at major band conventions and by the premiere bands of the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force.
Ascione will be the guest conductor for the debut of ''The Music of Cole Porter.'' The program also will feature ''Foundation,'' a work the band commissioned from Ascione in 2009. And Ascione will be featured on piano on Porter's ''All of You.''
New conductor Stephen L. Gage will lead the band in a program that will include other nods to the band's history. Verdi's ''La Forza Del Destino'' overture was performed at the first Packard concert in 1955. The ''Anniversary'' march was written by Brad D. Gilliland, who was W.D. Packard's original choice to lead the band that bears his name (Gilliland died before the band came to fruition).
The concert will open with Ryan Nowlin's ''A Vision and a Dream'' fanfare, which the band commissioned in 2008, and include Roy M. Miller's march ''A Salute to Packard." Also on the program will be a Marcel Peeters' ''Car,'' a musical salute to five vehicles - the 1926 Ford, the Volkswagon, the 1952 Chevy, the 1963 M.G., and the 2000 Ferrari.
The concert starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren. Admission is free and funding is provided by the W.D. Packard trust. For information, call 330-841-2931.