The Hollis Town Band continues the celebration of its 75th anniversary with a concert at the Strawberry Festival on June 24 th from 2:00-4:00PM on the historic town square in Hollis. In addition to the concert, festival-goers can enjoy fresh strawberry shortcakes made with local berries and homemade ice cream from Doc Davis.
The band was founded as the Hollis Church School Band in 1943. The Strawberry Festival has been part of its history since nearly the beginning. According to the band’s historical records, the event dates back as far as 1946. From the start, it was a community event requiring lots of helping hands, with the band asking for volunteers to bake shortcakes and for strawberry donations from the farmers of Hollis, who one year ran out of strawberries because of the festival’s popularity. Historically, over 1,000 people have attended.
In keeping with 75 th anniversary celebration, the concert will feature several pieces which can found in the various programs in the band’s scrapbook including, "A Military Band", "Days of Glory" and "Band of America March. A special piece from the band's history, "Lustspiel" will be performed in memory of long-time band member Charlie Woods. The Band will also be performing selections from West Side Story in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 100th anniversary. In addition, there will be a raffle for a chance to conduct Sousa's "Stars And Stripes Forever” and the band will be awarding its annual scholarships.
The Hollis Town Band and the Woman's Club now co-sponsor the Strawberry Festival. Since the partnership started thirty years ago, the purpose of the fundraising remains the same as it is today: scholarships, community work and continuing operational support for both clubs, including the purchase of music. The band is completely self-supported through the income generated from concerts and receives no financial support from the annual town budget.