The Cleveland Clinic Concert Band is a group made up entirely of Cleveland Clinic volunteers, or “Ambassadors.” It is a classical wind ensemble, in the tradition of John Philip Sousa and former Clevelander Frederick Fennell, as well as of the concert bands residing where just about all of us went to high school and college.
The Cleveland Clinic Concert Band is the latest in a distinguished series of musical organizations spawned by Cleveland Clinic at various times in its history, beginning with the “Cleveland Clinic Women’s Orchestra” of the 1930s, to the “Arrhythmias” of the 1960s, and the “DNR” and “Skin and Bones” of more recent vintage. The newly formed Arts and Medicine Institute confers further legitimacy on these efforts.
Current Conductor: Roy J. Hawthorne
The current music director and conductor of The Cleveland Clinic Concert Band is Roy J. Hawthorne, a distinguished music educator, composer and conductor of wind ensembles in the Cleveland area. Mr. Hawthorne is a low brass player of distinction.
He has written many acclaimed compositions which have been widely played. He has been with the band since September 2008 and is serving the band well through his musical knowledge, experience and engaging manner.
History of the Band
The idea of forming a concert band at Cleveland Clinic was originally suggested in 2000 by Caryl Richards, and in 2001, the band was formed following an invitation that was extended to everyone at Cleveland Clinic. The band held its first rehearsal on April 18, 2001, under the direction of Dr. Louis Alan Zagar of the Cleveland Musical School Settlement.
The Cleveland Clinic Concert Band debuted at Landerhaven for the Ambassadors Tenth Anniversary Dinner on May 24, 2001. On that occasion the band played the world premiere performance of “The Ambassadors March,” written especially for the occasion in honor of Bernadine Healy, MD, Alexandra Razavi, and Carolyn Fazio, founders of the Ambassadors. The band’s members are all Ambassadors. Their practice time and performances all occur on a volunteer basis.
Dr. Zagar was succeeded as conductor and music director by Dan Rager in 2004. Under his direction, the band gave many distinguished performances, including concerts at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, as well as many other local venues. Mr. Rager left the band in 2008 to join the music program at the University of Wisconsin.
Visit the Cleveland Clinic Concert Band website to learn more about the history of the band as well as the current performance and rehearsal schedules.