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A musical journey through Pleasanton history

Pleasanton Community Concert Band show at Firehouse next weekend
The Pleasanton Community Concert Band, seen here in a past performance at the Firehouse Arts Center, will be back at the downtown venue on Oct. 23 to debut the "Pleasanton Portraits" musical snapshots inspired by the history of the region.

Local residents can take a "musical journey through chapters of Pleasanton's early history" this weekend as the Pleasanton Community Concert Band debuts its "Pleasanton Portraits" composition accompanied by projections and historical photos of the city's evolution.

The band's concert, "A Salute to the Golden State", will center on five musical snapshots -- or "portraits" -- from different periods in early Pleasanton history composed by Gary P. Gilroy and commissioned by the band in honor of its 45th anniversary as well as the city's 125th anniversary of incorporation in 2019.

The free show is being presented this Sunday (Oct. 23) at the Firehouse Arts Center in collaboration with the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and Museum on Main, with funding via a grant from the city of Pleasanton's Civic Arts Commission.

"After waiting three years, the Pleasanton Community Concert Band is finally able to present this event, and we are thrilled," band board member Les Duman told Livermore Vine.

"PCCB was set to premiere Pleasanton Portraits prior to the onset of COVID, and of course, was postponed until now," Duman added. "This will be our first indoor concert in Pleasanton since 2019, and it is the world premier of this commissioned composition. One very positive result of the postponement is that it has allowed PCCB the time to create a collaboration with both the Museum on Main, and the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council."

Pleasanton Community Concert Band. Photo courtesy Museum on Main

The opening musical portrait is entitled "Pelnen Tribe", a pentatonic melody alongside sounds of beads and open land that pays homage to the Ohlone Peoples of the area.

Next is "Coming of the Railroad", which will be "introduced with the sounds of contemporary percussion effects recreating the eerie sounds of the large steel wheels of the railroad cars slowly set into motion," according to presenters.

"Lonely Valley" follows, sending the concert back to a calmer era before Pleasanton's settler population really began to grow.

The band will then transition into reflecting on Pleasanton's agricultural era of the late-1800s with "Enjoying the Hops". "The lively melody is a festive romp with beer flowing and people dancing into the wee hours of the night," presenters said.

The fifth and final portrait will be "Pleasanton Goes to the Movies", which pays tribute to the community's involvement in the silent movie era of the early 20th century. Stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, and Abbott and Costello shot early movies in and around Pleasanton.

"All five portraits are then masterfully blended into a huge grand musical and photo finale," presenters said. "In addition to Pleasanton Portraits, the band will be performing other California-themed musical selections."

The concert will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 23) at the Firehouse Arts Center in downtown Pleasanton. The event is free, though donations will be accepted.

"I am looking forward to a full theater and introducing or reintroducing our community to the band as well as to the Museum and PCAC," Duman said. "All three of our organizations contribute so much to the Pleasanton Community and we hope that many residents will be attending this event to learn more about our history and to enjoy a splendid afternoon with us."

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