Bands of the Beanpot Concert

Annual Concert unites Boston’s collegiate music-makers in pride and community.

Spark Volume 3, Issue 1 | by Emily White

Fervently fueling school pride and rousing crowds of dedicated fans, the Boston University Bands are well-practiced in building a sense of community excitement.

In conjunction with the annual Beanpot hockey tournament, another yearly Boston tradition unites the bands of the four participating colleges and universities with the ultimate goal of making music together. “The Beanpot concert is always a special date on our calendar,” says Dr. Jennifer Bill, Director of the Concert Band. “Bringing the four schools of the Beanpot together to show the unifying power of music is a wonderful experience for the students from every school.”

Photographed by Natasha Moustache.

Photographed by Natasha Moustache.

At the end of October, Boston University Concert Band will have the honor of hosting ensembles from Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern in a special concert called Bands of the Beanpot. Since the concert began nearly 15 years ago, Boston University has hosted twice, most recently in 2013. The first Bands of the Beanpot concert was held at Northeastern in February 2003, and in the spirit of uniting Boston’s schools, each band director programmed works by Boston composers. Bands of the Beanpot has continued as an annual fall event preceding the men’s and women’s hockey games in the winter.

This unique festival is both a chance to showcase the host school’s ensemble and facilities as well as an opportunity to strengthen community ties among musicians across the city.

The BU Concert Band is a large concert ensemble that performs a wide range of wind band works from the traditional to contemporary throughout the year. The ensemble puts on two formal concerts each semester in addition to the Beanpot. “The BU Concert Band is a place for BU students from all colleges and majors to come together to make music,” says Dr. Bill, and it “is a unique experience for the BU students involved. It brings students together from every college and major within the University. Because they all have a passion for music, the students instantly have a connection with every single person in the concert band. It gives students a sense of stability and community during their time at BU.”

Mike Barsano, Director of University Ensembles, echoes the fun and familial characteristic of BU Bands. “There is a great community aspect of the program. It’s based around music but it’s also based around building a community of musicians that all have studies elsewhere.” The fifty or so students in the BU Concert Band, and the more than 300 students who participate in one of the BU Bands, represent all colleges across the university. From engineers to artists, BU Bands unite a wide spectrum of students with a shared passion for music making.

The Bands of the Beanpot creates that sentiment of community on an even greater level for musicians around Boston, in reaching out to similar programs at other schools and bringing them together to put on a massive show for a packed audience. Hosting the concert this fall affords BU students a chance to show the entire community their musical skills as well as showcasing the music-making that takes place in other schools.

“The rivalry between the four schools is put aside once a year to experience the connection of music,” says Dr. Bill. Of course, once the Beanpot actually takes place in February, the bands will be prepared to loudly ignite the crowd’s scarlet pride and all the “Go BU!” cheers they can muster.


About the 2017 Bands of the Beanpot

OCTOBER 29, 2017, 3PM

BU Concert Band, Harvard Wind Ensemble, Northeastern Wind Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble at Boston College
Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave.
This event is open to BU Bands Alumni, students, friends, and family.