Longtime band director brings music home to North Yarmouth

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

NORTH YARMOUTH — Nina Oatley Walsh won’t have to travel far to reach her next gig.

As the director for 18 years of what it now the Maine Pops Concert Band, Walsh is bringing her group to her hometown on Sunday, July 12.

The Village Green concert starts at 5 p.m. and is scheduled to last about an hour.

“It’s a great time for families to come with a blanket and picnic, and spend some time outside listening to some music,” Walsh said July 1.

Formed in 1988 as the Italian Heritage Center Band, the group changed its name this spring.

“It seemed that the band has evolved,” Walsh said. “… Our mission, and the mission of the Italian Heritage Center, had been going on different paths for a few years.”

The band, whose new name is a nod to the Boston Pops Orchestra, plas a variety of music, from Broadway and Ray Charles medleys to patriotic tunes, jazz, marches and symphonic melodies.

The band’s third show in North Yarmouth will be a somewhat bittersweet experience for Walsh: good to be performing in her hometown again, but sad to be doing so without Wescustogo Hall, the in-case-of-rain venue that was destroyed by fire in August 2013.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the weather cooperates this year,” she said.

The show will also have a guest conductor, David Rau.

The band, which has about 70 active members, rounds out the summer with a “Summer Concert in the Park” show at Library Park in Bath on Friday, July 31, and at St. Peter’s Bazaar on Federal Street in Portland on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Log onto italianheritagecenterband.com for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Nina Oatley Walsh of North Yarmouth will bring the Maine Pops Concert Band, which she has directed for 18 years, to her hometown’s Village Green on Sunday, July 12.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.