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Forty years of harmony

Huntington Beach Concert Band, which will kick off new season this weekend, has members — and friendships — going back decades.

June 19, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Members of the Huntington Beach Concert Band perform during rehearsals at Marina High School on June 18.
Members of the Huntington Beach Concert Band perform… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

Lloyd Glick has played the trumpet for almost 80 years.

Forty of those have been with the Huntington Beach Concert Band, where he is the oldest player and the only remaining pioneer member.

"I just love playing the trumpet and enjoy the companionship of musical groups," said Glick, 89, who has also spent time with community bands in Los Angeles, Lakewood, Long Beach and Fountain Valley. "It's second nature for me."

Starting this weekend, the 80-piece troupe will host a concert series at 5 p.m. every Sunday throughl Sept. 1. The performances, which are free to the public, will be held in Central Park in Huntington Beach, behind the Central Library. Moonlight Express, Night Blooming Jazzmen and Bob DeSena are on the roster, along with La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashé and Wise Guys, who will take the stage for the first time this year.

Up first is the Huntington Beach Concert Band, which will kick off the summer series with an Americana program, under the tagline "Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4 all rolled into one. Let's wave the red, white and blue."

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Bands make the cut for the annual event based on "how well the audience will respond, and so there's a variety of different performing groups in the park," said concert band music director Thomas Ridley, who shares the responsibility with its general manager, Linda Couey.

Ridley, a 40-year resident of Huntington Beach, heard about the local concert band at a monthly teacher meeting during his stint as a music director at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills. He auditioned for the position and "has been here ever since," he said.

That was in spring 1977.

Since then, he has worked hard at selecting the group's music and preparing for performances, all while trying to "give everyone a fun time."

Fun has certainly been had because music aficionados from Azusa, Irvine, Seal Beach, Long Beach and even Temecula cart saxophones, clarinets, trombones, tubas, cymbals and more to weekly rehearsals in Marina High School's band room.

According to Glick, stories about Ridley's talent make the rounds and attract musicians. That's also what encourages them to stay, he said.

"I think we have held our people for so long because of the friendships they develop in the band," said Glick, a 73-year Huntington Beach resident. "There's a lot of social interaction — we have annual parties — and quite a few people form long-standing friendships."

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