HONK! DisOrchestra at the Hatch Shell (Archive)

Gig Summary:  Play at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell  alongside HONK! band members and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra during the “Triumphal Scene” from Verdi’s opera “Aida,” then perform a 15-20 minute set with other HONK! band-members.  Access scores and instructions below.

see who’s signed up to play

Click for Aida Triumphal Scene scores and info

Click for HONK! DisOrchestra Magnifico scores and info  (updated7/29)

Event date: Wednesday August 5th 2015;  Rain date: Thursday August 6th

Call time 5PM. Sound check/rehearsal at 5:30pm, Concert starts at 7:00pm, Set time 8:30pm to 9pm.

On-site rehearsal on Tuesday August 4th, 7PM at the Christian Science Center Reflection Hall, 235 Huntingon Avenue!  NOT at the Hatch Shell!

Background:  The Boston Landmarks Orchestra plays free concerts on summer Wednesday nights at the Hatch Shell, on the Esplanade (where the Boston Pops play on July 4th).  They draw crowds of 500-1000 people.  Wednesday August 5th is their “Italian Night” (all Italian composers). Click here, then scroll down to August 5th, “Italian Night” to see the program. They do community outreach, and expressed interest in having HONK! musicians play along to the fanfares in their last piece of the evening, the Triumphal March from Verdi’s “Aida.”  We asked if we could play our own set after the concert ended. They enthusiastically obliged, and we will play a 15-20 minute set on the steps of the Hatch Shell while they break down. Furthermore, they offered to promote HONK both before and during the event!

We subsequently formed “The HONK! DisOrchestra Magnifico,” the first-ever HONK! mega-band to play at the Hatch Shell!  We have participation from members of ten HONK! bands & groups!  Anyone is welcome if they follow the guidelines below. The more, the merrier! Come make HONK! history with us!

We’ll play:  The “Triumphal March” from Aida, about 9 minutes long, along with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra   followed by  a 15-20 minute set consisting of two original ‘Honkified’ arrangements of Italian-themed songs followed by one or two HONK! standards. (“Second Line” and “When the Saints….”)   Both have scores for all instruments. For those who don’t read sheet music, there is audio to play along with.

Participation is open to anyone who:

  1. Registers for the event.
  2. Attends at least one advance group rehearsal (off-site) AND at least one dress rehearsal (on-site).
  3. Is affiliated with, or becomes affiliated with, or is any bit curious about becoming affiliated with a HONK! group (JP Honk and School of HONK are two that are open to anyone).
  4. Commits to learning their parts for both the Aida Triumpal Scene and the HONK! DisOrchestra medley.  This includes memorizing the material or providing one’s own means for reading charts in mobile, low-light conditions.

Registration for the event:  Please sign up. We need your contact info so we can keep you informed, get security badges made for you, and know roughly how many of each instrument to expect.

On-site Rehearsals (i.e. at the Hatch Shell):  There are two on-site rehearsals with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, one on Tuesday 8/4 at 7PM and a shorter one on Wednesday 8/5 prior to the actual concert (5:30).  If possible, attend both.

Stage conditions: By the time we go on, it will be somewhat dark. There are a few lights on poles that cast decent light.  We’ll be mainly backlit with light from the shell. Memorize your parts if possible.  If not, make sure you can read your own sheet music.  Try coming to a Wednesday night July concert to check out the scene.

How to dress: Flamboyantly Honkish!  Your traditional Honk band attire is welcome. If that doesn’t apply to you, use your imagination (keeping in mind it’s a family show). Also, colorful self-illumination is encouraged!

Getting to the Hatch Shell: There is no parking on Storrow Drive. Public parking is available at the Boston Common Garage and Charles Circle Laz Parking Lot next to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary & the Liberty Hotel.

Closest T stations: Red Line @ Charles Street, Green Line @ Arlington Street. From both, the walking distance to the Esplanade concert area is about 1/2 mile.

Dropping off musical instruments: If you and your Sousaphone need to be dropped off close to the Hatch Shell, car-dropoffs are allowed, but only before 4PM on 8/5. After that, you must get dropped off somewhere else, like the beacon street footbridge. It is possible to leave large instruments at the hatch shell overnight.  We’ve had discussions about running some sort of shuttle service from T stations and parking lots… ideas and volunteers are welcome!

Security:  Security railings go entirely around the stage and Hatch shell. At 4PM, the area is cleared for bomb-sniffers to inspect, which takes 30 to 45 minutes. After 5PM you can get backstage, but bags and cases will be inspected. Musicians open the cases themselves. It’s best to bring large things in by 4PM if possible.  It’s best to arrive as close as possible to 5PM to get thru security before the crowds arrive.  We will be issued security badges for backstage access.   It will be best if we can get this done beforehand, ideally a week or so in advance- talk to your band rep!

Restrooms: There are both men’s and women’s restrooms in the back of the Hatch Shell itself.

Rain date notification: In case of rain, please check www.landmarksorchestra.org. Rain information will be posted beginning at 4 PM on concert days. You may also text LANDMARKS to 51555 to receive weather alerts.

Questions, comments:  write dbrancazio (at) comcast (dot) net.

We hope to see you soon!  Keep checking back here for updated info.


Dave Brancazio

The Jamaica Plain Honk Band


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