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Members of the West Point Band and Montclair State University Symphonic Band played Alvin Curran's Maritime Rites
while sitting in rowboats in the Central Park Lake, clustered by section (flutes with flutes, etc.) Crowds listened from the shore at Bethesda Fountain and its surrounding grassy patches. The boats drifted, creating a very un-concert hall aural geography as peculiar as the piece itself, which alternated between stretches of arhythmic, atonal screeching, long shared-chords, and short rhythmic phrases. (Is the piece really so dissonant? Or were the bands slightly out of tune? Is it silly we have to ask?) It concluded Copland-esquely, with a consonant orchestration of the hymn "Shall We Gather at the River." When it was over, the musicians rowed away, saxophonists in separate crafts riffing on some classic soul, including "Stand By Me" and "Can't Help Myself."