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Strike Up the Band at Area Bandstand Concerts

The Laker - June 28, 2017



By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper

They’re free and they’re fun. They provide a variety of music in the great outdoors where  everyone is welcome. “They” are the many community bandstand concerts that take place all over the Lakes Region each summer. Grab a lawn chair or blanket for seating/relaxing and sit back for some great music; many concert series also offer concessions so you can get a snack and drink while enjoying the music.

The Weirs Community Park offers free outdoor concerts at 6 pm on select Saturdays in July, August and September. On July 8, Robert Clarks will be the entertainment; on August 26, the Bel Airs will perform and on September 9 the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will offer a program for children. For updates and information, call 603-524-5046.

In the Laconia area, the bandstand in Rotary Park on Beacon Street East is the place to be for a series of great free outdoor concerts. The Belknap Mill has coordinated the concert series, and the Mill is located right next to the park. In the event of rain, concerts will be held inside the Mill on the third floor. Each show kicks off at 6:30 pm. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating.

On June 30, the Carter Mountain Brass Band will perform. Under the direction of Mike Mikuski, the band will offer a diverse program, including marches to traditional overtures, and numbers highlighting the musicianship of individual instrumentalists and sections of the band, to toe-tapping popular tunes.

The Michael Vincent Band is a well-known group that will return to Rotary Park on July 7. The band is a group of friends that have been playing together since 2005. They list countless musical influences, some of which can be heard in their own music. Artists such Steve Ray Vaughan were very influential early on, but as they grew they progressed to the older blues with artists such as Otis Rush, Johnnie Taylor, Buddy Guy, and Freddie King and B. B. King. Tab Benoit, Doyle Bramhall Jr. and Warren Haynes are some newer artists that have also been inspirations for the band. The Michael Vincent Band has found that home is where the blues is, and they thrive on playing the music they learned from listening to other artists they revere and look up to.

The 39th Army Band NH National Guard will perform on July 20. The band has represented the United States of America overseas on missions that have included St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and Athens, Greece and as Good Will Ambassadors to the country of Costa Rica in July 1995. The band is comprised of musicians representing many communities throughout the state who are dedicated soldiers and whose high standards of performance is respected and anticipated wherever they play. The band performs military marches, pop and jazz music.

The Freese Brothers Big Band was formed in 1982 by the Freese Brothers: Jack, Bill, George and Courtland, who began playing music together in a family performing troupe in the 1930’s. The purposes of the Band are to support and encourage the development of the musical talents of the public (especially young musicians) and its members, and to foster an appreciation of music of all eras. They will perform at Rotary Park bandstand on August 11.

One of New England’s favorite rock and roll acts, Annie & the Orphans have been entertaining fans, young and old, for over 50 years. They will close out the season on August 25. Their mission is simple but admirable. “Please the crowds. Make them feel good. Make them happy.” Specialists in 50’s, 60’s and 70’s rock and roll the band entertains audience members with songs such as “The Wanderer”, “Mustang Sally” and “Rock around the Clock”. Annie and the Orphan’s blend of unique talent and showmanship make them one of the most eagerly anticipated acts around. Call 603-524-8823 for information.

The little town of Hebron near Newfound Lake offers a popular gazebo concert series each summer. The concerts are a bit unique, because a different business or organization does a barbecue/food during the weekly concerts. The line up includes July 1, Club Soda band with a barbecue by Friends of the Hebron Library; July 8, Mango Groove Steel Band with barbecue by Hebron Village Store; July 15, Don Campbell Band with barbecue by Hebron Historical Society; July 22, Traditional Brew with barbecue by Hebron Village Store. A Family Fun Day on Aug. 12 features events all day with Jim Barnes, balladeer at 3 pm and Uncle Steve Band at 5 pm, followed by No Limitz at 7 pm. For information, call 603-744-3335.

Also in the Newfound area, free concerts in Kelley Park in Bristol offer a variety of music each Thursday from 6:30 to 8 pm. On June 29, the series features Studio Two – the Beatles Tribute; on July 6 Jordan Tirell Wysocki Trio performs traditional Celtic music with a twist; on July 13 the Ragged Mountain Band brings bluegrass and country to the bandstand; on July 20, Swing Rocket brings swing jazz music to the park; July 27 offers Club Soda with hits and favorites; on Aug. 3 the Uncle Steve Band features rock, soul and blues and Annie and the Orphans performs on Aug. 17. Visit

The Alan and Savina Hartwell Memorial Free Summer Concerts at Tilton Island Park’s bandstand on Main Street in Tilton are beloved in the area. The concerts are free and in memory of Alan and Savina Hartwell; Savina was a talented professional singer and her husband, Alan, worked tirelessly to bring the concerts to the park in her memory each year until his passing. His family carries on the organization of the concerts. Show times are 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

On July 2, the concert series kicks off with Studio Two  – Beatles Tribute Band; on July 9, Victoria & J Street Extension with Bob Cormier offer classic rock hit songs; July 16 brings Club Soda; July 23 will see 60s Invasion; July 30 features East Bay Jazz Ensemble and on August 6 Karen Morgan & The Pony Express brings country music to the park; Aug. 13 is Mill City Revival Band; Aug. 20 offers Rockin’ Daddios and the series closes for the season on Aug. 27 with Annie & The Orphans. Refreshments and foods will be available but feel free to bring your own picnic or snacks. Please bring a lawn chair for seating. No alcohol is allowed. Concerts are free but donations are appreciated. Performances are weather permitting and subject to cancellation in the event of bad weather. Call 603-286-3000 for updates and more information.

The Center Harbor Town Bandstand overlooking the lake in the downtown area will be the site for a great series of free concerts this summer. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating. The shows offer a chance to watch the band warm up and rehearse at 6 pm, followed by the show at 7 pm. The Center Harbor Town Band will perform on July 4, 7, 14, 21, 28 and Aug. 4. Guest concerts feature Annie and the Orphans on Aug. 11 from 7 to 9 pm; 60s Invasion on Aug. 18 from 7 to 9 pm and Carter Mountain Brass Band on Aug. 25, 7 to 9 pm. Contact for further information.

The town of Belmont will have three great concerts this year at a variety of locations. On July 15, the concert will be the (approximately) 16-piece Windham Swing Band performing at Tioga Pavilion on Mill Street in Belmont. The concert is free and light refreshments and drinks will be for sale. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket for seating. The program runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

On Aug. 12, Belmont celebrates its Old Home Day and two concerts are scheduled: the Tyler Road Band will perform folk/bluegrass at the Bandstand on Mill Street from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. The B Street Bombers will bring their musical sounds to the Bryant Field on Rt. 106 in Belmont from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

Studio Two – Beatles Tribute band will perform at the bandstand on Mill Street at 6 pm on Sept. 3. For information on the concerts in Belmont, call Gretta at 603-998-3525.

In Tuftonboro, an outdoor concert series bring a variety of musical sounds to the area. Concerts take place at 19 Mile Bay Beach Pavilion on Bay Road in Tuftonboro and are free. The Carolyn Ramsay Band will perform on July 6, followed by The Sweetbloods on July 13; Music in the Mountains/NH Music Festival is scheduled on July 23 and ending the series will be Big Medicine on July 27. Shows begin at 6:30 pm; bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. Visit for information.

The Friends of the Wolfeboro Community Bandstand will present a season of concerts in the park each Saturday in July and August in the bandstand in Cate Park in Wolfeboro from 7 to pm. The concerts are free to the public, though a pass-the-bucket offering is taken at intermission for those wishing to support the Friends of the Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, who continue to bring free, quality entertainment to Wolfeboro each summer.

The summer series will begin with a new act, as Cormac McCarthy with Mainesqueeze on July 1. Following on July 8 will be Acoustic Radio; on July 15, By Request will make its bandstand return after debuting last year; a local favorite returns to the bandstand on July 22, as Moose Mountain Jazz performs. 60s Invasion will perform on July 29. The Freese Brothers Big Band will return to the bandstand on Aug. 5. Newcomers to the bandstand on Aug. 12 will be Clyde Bisbee and the Wheelhouse Revelers. The Seldom Playrights are an experienced group of musicians brought together by their love of old school country and American roots music, as played by the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Ray Price and more. They will be at the bandstand on Aug. 19.

The Strafford Wind Symphony will perform on Aug. 26, and the final concert of the season will take place on Sept. 2, as Studio Two – The Beatles Tribute comes to town.

In the event of bad weather, the concert will be cancelled. A sign will be posted at the park entrance near town docks and updates will be posted at

(For questions and updates and possible cancellations of concerts, please check with each presenting organization listed in this story.)


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