Recorded Live from 17th Street Stage in August of 2023
The late C. Sidney Berg founded The Tidewater Winds Professional Concert Band in 1985 to provide an opportunity for residents of the Hampton Roads area to enjoy free professional band concerts in the “Sousa Band” tradition. Funding comes from various local and state grants, as well as contributions from businesses and individuals. The inaugural concert of this band took place on July 7, 1985 at Norfolk’s Town Point Park. Maestro Berg conducted the Winds until his passing in 2000. Sidney Berg died at 81, on April 30, 2000, in Virginia Beach. Sidney Berg was a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received his B.M. and M.M. degrees in music education. He came to Norfolk in 1944 as band director and later orchestra director at Maury High School. The band, under his leadership for 19 years, earned national recognition.
In 1963, Sidney became director of music education for the Norfolk Public School System. He established, over the next 23 years, a string and harp program and a series of All City Annual Concerts at Chrysler Hall. He also organized and conducted an All City Wind Ensemble. He was, for 42 years, the principal timpanist for the Norfolk (now Virginia) Symphony. He became the founding and principal conductor of the Tidewater Youth Orchestra in 1972. Mr. Berg served as president of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Dircctors Association and the Virginia Music
Educators Association. The American School of Band Directors Association awarded him in 1975 the coveted Edwin Franko Goldman Award for distinguished service in the school band field.
In 1985, Sidney, founded and conducted the Tidewater Winds Professional Concert Band. Sidney enjoyed the support of the public and was honored to see the concert halls filled to capacity. It was his joy to touch people with music. He was elected to membership in 1996 to the American Bandmaster Association and was to be awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Music, from the Shenandoah University.
Alberto Romen Asercion, studied with his grandfather Manuel Asercion, a Navy Bandmaster, and he became the soloist of the famous BANDA MANTANDA. At the age of 15 he won the “Best Soloist” award in the Philippines. Alberto attended the University of the Philippines and later joined the United States Navy. He graduated first in his class and played lead Alto Saxophone with the Seventh Fleet Band that toured the Far East. He retired with the rank of Master Chief Musician (MUCM) after serving as the Conducting Instructor for the Armed Forces School of Music at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base and Concert Master/Associate Conductor of the U.S . Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland. Later, he earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from St. Leo’s College followed by a Master’s Degree of Music from Norfolk State University, who awarded him the title of Eminent Scholar. As a conductor, clarinet soloist, clinician, and adjudicator, Maestro Asercion’s performances were legendary throughout his travels in the United States, Canada, and the Far East. In addition to being the Conductor of the Tidewater Winds, Alberto Asercion was a member of numerous local associations and organizations and contributed to the culture of our region.
The late C. Sidney Berg founded The Tidewater Winds Professional Concert Band
in 1985 to provide an opportunity for residents of the Hampton Roads area to
enjoy free professional band concerts in the “Sousa Band” tradition. Funding
comes from various local and state grants, as well as contributions from
businesses and individuals. The inaugural concert of this band took place on
July 7, 1985 at Norfolk’s Town Point Park. Maestro Berg conducts the Winds until his passing in 2000.
The Winds are Incorporated by the State Corporation Commission
on October 13, 1992, the band is a 501 c3 non-profit organization as recognized by
the Internal Revenue Service.
Tidewater Winds begins incorporating an educational component to the Winds. High School and College students began to audition as music and performing interns, performing alongside the professional ensemble. Maestro Ascersion becomes the 2nd Conductor for the Winds in 2000 and continues until his passing in 2006.
Tidewater Winds becomes a Resident Ensemble of the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach!
New initiatives are introduced making the Winds more accessible and available to the public. Small ensembles are formed allowing quintets and quartets to perform as approved Tidewater Winds ensembles on smaller stages and with more repetoire variety. The education program grows into In-School StudentConcerts, Middle and High School Band Clinics, Master Classes and the RIME project takes form as a student literacy music program to enhance literacy skills and music appreciation.
A partnership develops with Norfolk Collegiate Schools Music Department. Tidewater Winds musicians provide MAster Classes and support the pit musicians for their annual Broadway Musical student projects. In exchange for support, Norfolk Collegiate School trades the use of the theatre for summer cocnerts.
The RiME Project debuts providing a family sneak-peak to the performance of Pinocchio with Rainbow Puppets. Production partner IMGoing debuts the concert on 24th Street Stage in Virginia Beach. Educational material is prepared for a full release in 2023.
A partnership is struck between Tidewater Winds and the Academy of Music to support Band Together, a side-by-side instructional performance program for music students with disabilities. Tidewater Winds musicians support training and instruction in this unique parternship.
From our humble beginnings to now, we continue to stick to our mission of providing quality free summer concerts to communities across Hampton Roads. We've added so many projects to our work but we will never lose the connection to our audiences, our joy of music and concert offerings to the public. Maestro Brewington leads the Winds in 2006 and contnues to develop crreative and powerful concerts while developing innovative connections to our audiences and community.
The concert band is an ensemble that goes by many names: wind ensemble, wind symphony, wind band, wind orchestra, symphonic band — or just plain "band." It's a collection of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments that is best known to the general public for patriotic marches, but it also is an ensemble that more and more composers are turning to for their next big work.
So what exactly is a concert band? Here are some answers for those new to the genre as we launch the Concert Band stream.
Q: What is the difference between an orchestra and a concert band?
A: The most obvious difference between the ensembles is the instruments that call the ensemble home. Violins, violas, cellos and basses make up the majority of an orchestra, while a concert band is made up of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Basically, the concert band does not contain stringed instruments, except the occasional string bass or harp. When you think of concert band music, you might think of marches, like John Philip Sousa's classic The Stars and Stripes Forever, or other patriotic tunes. This is the music that kickstarted the American band tradition.
Q: How did concert bands start?
A: Concert bands represent the coming together of two types of smaller ensembles: the brass bands that accompanied military regiments and the wind section of an orchestra.
On the lighter side, some composers such as Mozart and Haydn realized that the wind section of the orchestra had a unique sound and virtuosic ability. They occasionally wrote just for that section of the orchestra to give string players a break.
As military bands became more ceremonial than practical, they were able to expand to include woodwinds and play sit-down concerts for public audiences. This inspired a shift in repertoire. Now, along with marches, bands play arrangements from orchestral classics to modern pop.
Enjoy the early fall evening with vocalist Danielle Roby and Tidewater Winds Little Big Band in the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center's Courtyard at 6 PM on October 4th! This free concert requires no tickets, just come and relax!