Concert at GMS will celebrate Stodd's legacy

Lisa Depies
Maple City Band director Alan Kiser holds a photo of the late Rich Stodd. Stodd, who died last fall, was a long-time band director in the Geneseo School District. He also served as the previous Maple City Band director. A concert in his memory will be Saturday, July 22 at Geneseo Middle School.

Family, friends, students and fellow musicians will gather Saturday, July 22 for a special concert to honor the late Richard “Rich” Stodd.

For 20 years, Stodd served as the Geneseo School District’s associate band director. He introduced students to instrumental music at the sixth-grade level, helped direct the high school bands and served in the community as a long-time director of the Maple City Band.

Stodd, 67, died last September following a battle with multiple myeloma cancer.

In honor of his musical legacy, Maple City Band members, joined by Geneseo music alumni and other area musicians will play a concert of tunes each having a connection to Stodd.

Stodd’s wife, Janet, and his three daughters, Erin, Katie and Jenny, helped select the music and will participate in the concert.

The special event will start at 7 p.m. at Geneseo Middle School. A free-will donation will be accepted at the door with proceeds benefiting the Geneseo Performing Arts Council (GPAC) and the Maple City Band.

“We have approximately 90 musicians who will perform on Saturday,” said Maple City Band director Alan Kiser who helped organize the concert. “The largest Maple City Band I remember in the last 30 years was July 4, 2006, when we celebrated the band’s 100th anniversary and had about 75 people in the band that day. A normal Maple City Band concert has 50 to 65 musicians.”

While most of the musicians have a Geneseo connection to Stodd, several graduated from AlWood High School, where Stodd taught prior to coming to Geneseo.

Band members are coming from states as far away as Connecticut and Oregon to participate in the concert.

“Teachers have an impact on thousands of students over the years. We wanted to gather as many people as possible who knew Rich, whether it was as a teacher, colleague or friend,” said Kiser.

“Many of Rich’s students are now band directors, music teachers or simply share a lifelong love of music. A few of them are conducting pieces at the concert,” said Kiser.

Music at the concert will be uniquely connected to Stodd.

Among the pieces the band will play will be “Spirit of the Pioneers” which Stodd helped commission in honor of the Maple City Band’s 100th anniversary.

As pep band director at Geneseo High School, Stodd liked to play “Hit the Road Jack” whenever the opposing team took the court. The song will be featured at the July 22 concert.

Stodd helped create the July 4 tradition of the Maple City Band performing a concert of patriotic music in the city park. In his honor, a selection of marches, including “Entry of the Gladiators,” “Billboard March” and “Them Bassess” will be played.

Stodd also started the tradition of making John Philip Sousa’s march “Stars & Stripes Forever” a Maple City Band classic. The piece will be played at the concert.