Strike Up MoBand

Modesto's Mancini Bowl in Graceada Park again will come alive with the sound of music Thursday.

It's the kickoff of MoBand's (Modesto Band of Stanislaus County) summer concert series, one of the city's most popular family events. Thousands of audience members will bring blankets and lawn chairs, eat picnic feasts and catch up with friends and neighbors.

This year's theme, "Groovin' Since 1919," celebrates the concert series' 90th anniversary.

The band will honor its late founder, Frank Mancini, at the June 25 concert. Mancini, whose name sits atop the band's stage, was a leading force in Modesto's music community from the 1920s until his death in 1964. In addition to starting MoBand, he founded the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and taught music at Modesto High School and Modesto Junior College.

In a change from recent years, Broadway legend and Modesto resident Carol Channing ("Hello Dolly!") won't be singing with the group because she has another engagement.

As usual, participation in MoBand is open to any player in high school and up. A volunteer organization, the band gets up to about 130 musicians, with different players performing at different concerts. Rehearsals are 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Mancini Hall on Tuolumne Boulevard, beginning Monday.

Read on for the full concert schedule:

  • June 11 — "Peel Out!" Music from the 1950s and '60s to help kick off Modesto's Graffiti Summer celebration.
  • June 18 — "Groovin'." Relaxing music plus songs with a Latin flavor and music that brings back memories.
  • June 25 — "Thanks, Frank." A look back at music MoBand has performed over the past 90 years, with a tribute to founder Frank Mancini.
  • July 2 — "Patriotic Salute." Annual Fourth of July celebration.
  • July 9 — "Legends Nite." Music reflecting America's heritage and community spirit, kickoff to August National Night Out and French horn reunion.
  • July 16 — "Summer Reruns." Crowd favorites during the season.