2012 Community Service Award
McGill’s Community Band of Houlton was organized in 1985. It was the fulfillment of David McGillicuddy’s dream, music director of M.S.A.D. 29. He wanted to form a community band that the town had not had in years. With musicians from Houlton and surrounding towns, plus New Brunswick, Canada, and out-of- state visitors during the summer months, there were 55 members in the first band, from all ages. There were concerts in the open on Thursday evenings in Monument Park. The big problem was rain. There was no protection for instruments, music, and of course, musicians. Attendance ran around eighty. The public gave a clear sign that the Band was well liked by showing up every Thursday night. In 1998, the first concert was performed in a new beautifully designed amphitheater that provided lights, a sound system and electrical outlets for the band’s new home in Monument Park. For two years, The Houlton Rotary Club worked through their annual auction to raise the funds to build this all- brick, cement and steel structure of which they presented to the Town of Houlton with additional funds to maintain the building. For a little history, Houlton’s first town band was organized in 1911. After twenty years of directing the band with an average of ten concerts every summer, David McGillicuddy retired as director and now plays in the sax section and is still very active in helping the band to grow. In 2005, Joe Fagnant, the department head of the music program at M.S.A.D. 29, took over as director of McGill’s Band. He has given the Band music that gives the players a variety of tempos. The band has grown stronger with an average of eighty. The community support has been wonderful with crowds of up to three hundred some evenings in the park. The band is supported by the audience with a passing of the hat at half time. With that support, new music is purchased and provides the players with a comfortable uniform. McGill’s Band certainly helps make “Houlton– Music Town of Maine”. The Band wishes to thank the Chamber members for this honor.
Michael Clark, Band Manager.