MODESTO — This is the second in an occasional series of fun things to do in Modesto this summer.
During several Thursdays this summer, MoBand holds free concerts at Graceada Park in Modesto. Attend- ing these concerts is a beloved tradition for many. Started in 1919, MoBand was originally called the Modesto Boys' Band. It was first conducted by W.W. Higgins. After he died two years later, the band was taken over by Frank Mancini. Under his direction, the band quickly became renowned throughout the state.
Years later, it became known as the Modesto Band of Stanislaus County, and women were included. These early concerts were performed in many parks around Modesto including Graceada, until the performances found a permanent home in the new Mancini Bowl in a dedication on May 15, 1949, attended by 3,200 people.
Concerts are given for six consecutive weeks in the summer from 8 to 9:45 p.m.
Many concertgoers set out a blanket in advance in order to get a good spot. The performances are so popular that many people stake their claim the night before.
This is a great place to kick back with some free popcorn and friends and enjoy these summer nights. The concert themes for the last three weeks include: Rock Roll and Remember, Patriotic Blast-Off (on July 3), and It's Party Time.
Those who own an instrument and wish to have some fun with the Modesto music community are encouraged to come down and play for the band. No previous involvement in the band this summer is necessary and all are welcome.
For more information on how to get involved, visit www.moband.org.
Smith is a junior at Johansen High School in Modesto and a member of the Teens in the Newsroom program.