The Concerts for the Chesapeake series presents The Benfield Brass Band for an hour-long afternoon concert. This traditional British-style band will perform from their varied repertoire on Sunday, March 19 at 5 pm at neighboring Eastport United Methodist Church, 926 Bay Ridge Avenue, Annapolis.
A free will offering will be taken to benefit the St. Luke’s Restoration of Nature Project, which is transforming degraded woodlands and wetlands in Eastport into a restored habitat to showcase best management practices for stormwater treatment. The completed project will include a regenerative stormwater conveyance, living shoreline, and tidal marsh, along with an educational trail to make this restored green space accessible to the community.
This is the fourth in a series of concerts to raise awareness and funding for the project. Performances later this year will include the 4th Annual Blue & Green Festival on Saturday, October 7 from 11 am to 3 pm, featuring a variety of local musicians.
About the Musicians:
The Benfield Brass Band is a traditional British-style band, originally formed in 1998 for the express purpose of participating at the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival, held each year in June. The band is composed of brass and percussion instruments and consists of cornets, flugelhorn, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, trombones, and basses, as well as percussion. Currently the band has about 40 members.
The band is a volunteer organization which performs from mid-fall to midsummer. Their 2016 season included concert performances at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival, Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park, Wesley Grove Strawberry Festival, The Gettysburg (PA) Brass Band Festival, Oak Crest Retirement Community in Belair (MD) and Benton Park, Linthicum.
Ray Ascione, Conductor of the band, is a retired Navy Commander who, in his 35 years of active duty naval service, held positions as Leader of the U.S. Naval Academy Band, Assistant Leader of the Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and Director of the Navy Music School. Since retirement in the Annapolis area, he remains active musically as a performer, conductor, educator, and consultant.
About the Restoration of Nature Project:
St. Luke’s comprehensive watershed restoration initiative will be constructed this year on Back Creek in Annapolis. The project is enabled by two grant awards from Maryland’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund totaling $1,115,770 and our implementation partners, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Underwood & Associates. St. Luke’s raised matching funds through St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church Mission Grants, Severn River Association, Unity Gardens, Willis Bilderback Memorial, Annapolis Subaru, Watergate Pointe, and church fundraisers in support of its Bay restoration project. The project will treat 28 acres of stormwater in support of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s goals for clean water, habitat for flora and fauna, quality community green space, and accessible best management practices that promote environmental stewardship. St. Luke’s is supported in this work by RiverWise Congregations, a partnership working to involve communities of faith in watershed restoration, which includes Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.
An additional grant received from The United Thank Offering, a program of the Episcopal Church, will fund the creation of an environmental education campus based around the Restoration project. This unique educational environment will enable people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about Chesapeake Bay ecosystems and will inspire visitors to become better stewards of creation.