This year marks the 135th anniversary of the Golden Gate Park Band (GGPB), which presents popular concerts in Golden Gate Park. It is one of the last big-city outdoor bands to present a full season of entertainment in the outdoors.
The band has presented a large variety of music over the years, which includes classical transcriptions, original works for concert band, Broadway show selections, as well as opera and marches throughout its history. In addition, a number of the concerts feature ethnic and artistic groups from throughout the Bay Area.
The director of the band is Michael L. Wirgler, who has been GGPB’s conductor since July 4, 1999. Before that, he was a member of the band for 25 years. Retired from a 33-year career as a music teacher, Wirgler continues as a performer, teacher and composer.
The free Golden Gate Park Band concerts will continue until early October. All concerts (unless noted) are on Sundays, at 1 p.m., and are held at the Spreckels Temple of Music at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park.
The concert schedule for the 2017 season is:
• April 23 – Premiere concert;
• April 30 – Great concert band music (TBA);
• May 7 – Polish Constitution Day (Polish music, singing, dancing);
• May 14 – Great concert band music (TBA);
• May 21 – Armenian Constitution Day (Armenian music, singing, dancing);
• May 28 – Memorial Weekend concert (Patriotic and American music);
• June 4 – Italian-American Day (Operatic highlights);
• Saturday and Sunday , June 10 and 11, annual GGPB Festival, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day;
• June 18 – Great concert band music (TBA);
• June 25 – By popular demand: “Disney” is back;
• July 2 – The influence of Latin America;
• Tuesday, July 4 – Celebrate our country’s birthday (patriotic and American music);
• July 9 – Great concert band music (TBA);
• July 16 – Music for youth, with special guests: “Music To My Ears;”
• July 23 – Featured composer: Antonin Dvorak;
• July 30 – The world and times of Gilbert and Sullivan;
• Aug. 6 – Honoring the SF Fire Department’s NERT and SERT volunteers;
• Aug. 13 – Great concert band music (TBA);
• Aug. 20 – Celebrate: St. Stephen’s Day (Hungarian music, singing, dancing);
• Aug. 27 – Celebrate: Ukrainian-American Day (Ukrainian music, singing, dancing);
• Sept. 3 – Inspiring music from Russia;
• Sept. 4 (Monday) – Labor Day celebration (Tribute to the American worker);
• Sept. 10 – No concert;
• Sept. 17 – Robert Emmett Day (Irish music, singing, dancing);
• Sept. 24 – Spanish dancing with El Grupo Sabores de España;
• Oct. 1 – Jazz at the Park;
• Oct. 8 – Final concert: all request.
For more information, go to the band’s website at http://www.GoldenGateParkBand.org.