25th Annual Friends of Ithaca College Founder’s Day Concert Pays Tribute to Patrick Conway

By Dan Verderosa, September 11, 2017

25th Annual Founder’s Day Concert Pays Tribute to Patrick Conway

The Ithaca College Wind Ensemble continues the Friends of Ithaca College’s 25-year tradition of the annual Founder’s Day Concert in the Park with a free, open-air performance in celebration of Ithaca College’s 125th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 24. The concert will begin at 2 p.m. in DeWitt Park in downtown Ithaca.

In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College.

This year’s program, “A Tip of the Hat to Patrick Conway and His Famous Band,” pays tribute to a prominent musician with central New York roots who became one of the most famous bandleaders of the early 20th century. Conductor Christopher Hughes will lead the IC Wind Ensemble through some favorites, including works by Vaughan Williams, Holst, Shostakovich, Vivaldi, Sibelius — and Conway himself.

A teacher at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music (which would become Ithaca College), Conway founded the Conway Military Band School in 1922 in affiliation with the conservatory. The school was merged into Ithaca College in 1931, laying the groundwork for the college’s rich band tradition. Conway received mention alongside famed bandleader John Philip Sousa in “The Music Man.”

The Founder’s Day Concert in the Park brings music back to the original Ithaca College downtown “campus quad” and celebrates the college’s partnership with the community, which began in 1892. The first Founder’s Day Concert in the Park took place in 1992 to mark the centennial of the founding of Ithaca College. This year, the concert is part of a yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the college’s founding.

The college offers special thanks to Beverly Baker ’54 and Baker Travel for 25 years of sponsorship, and special thanks also to the Boardman House.