Town Band premieres “Acadia Centennial Suite”

BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor Town Band premiered a new piece, “Acadia Centennial Suite,” at their July 7 concert. The march was composed by College of the Atlantic music professor John Cooper. July 7 was the eve of the centennial of the day President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation establishing the Sieur de Monts National Monument, July 8, 1916.

The concert was held inside, at St. Saviour’s Church, rather than on the Village Green due to weather.

“There are some tense moments in the piece, because the founding of the park had some friction to it, too,” band director Brian Booher said.

Unlike a documentary score, Cooper said he has shied away from specifying which historical event is supposed to go with which section of the music.

“It’s not program music in that way. We’re gonna leave it up to listeners to figure out where everything exists in that regard.”

Dramatic, tense moments in the piece could be about the fire of 1947, he said, or they could be about the defunct cog railway. “It could be just the politicization of the early days where they couldn’t get funding. Or it could be the times they changed the name of the park. Everybody on MDI has their stories to tell.”

The band will perform the Centennial Suite several more times this summer, Booher said.

“Hopefully it will become a tradition,” Cooper said.

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