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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Community at the bandstand is the norm

By Mary Hart

You may have driven or strolled by the bandstand in the town common in Middleton or even enjoyed a summer concert, but have you ever stopped and wondered why it's there? The bandstand was "a gift from the Middleton Kiwanis Club to the people of the town of Middleton," says Henry Tragert, town moderator. "The Kiwanis raised funds six years ago through their Annual Auction specifically to build this bandstand."

When the bandstand was finalized, "it was dedicated in honor of Middleton resident, Norm Nathan, a well-known radio personality for more than 50 years on WHDH and WBZ, as well as a school committee member, Town Meeting moderator, and member of the Kiwanis," Tragert says. "He passed 10 years ago, but was an aficionado of Big Band and Jazz music."

Nathan's favorites included Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, so the bandstand was a fitting tribute to his memory. This bandstand was first used for concerts in 2004.

"A big band concert, Dick Donovan's Big Band, was the first ever concert performed on the bandstand," Tragert says. "And there was a light-hearted dedication ceremony that night to dedicate the bandstand to Nathan. Countless people turned out to remember Nathan and enjoy the concert."

Summer concerts continued throughout 2004 and 2005 by the Kiwanis, and now the Town of Middleton Recreation Department is in charge of the bandstand. Thursday evening concerts at the bandstand are the summer entertainment this year and you won't want to miss out.

"These concerts bring people together," says Tragert. "All of the people in the homes abutting the common have backyard barbecues during the concert and then sit on their patios or decks to enjoy the concerts. It's a wonderful event."

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