GRAND AVENUE, WEST OF 580 – July 2017

Farewell:  After four years authoring Grand Avenue West of 580 articles as “LZ”, this will be my final column. My husband and I are moving to Michigan where we will live in another vibrant and emerging neighborhood (Old Town, Lansing) and be close to our son, his wife, and our 3 grandchildren. It took all that to pull us away from Oakland and our neighborhood.

I thank all my blog subjects for your participation and my readers for your attention. If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity, I highly recommend that you join Ken Katz as he builds a team of regular and occasional contributors helping to continue the Splash Pad publication. I will miss you all. — Liane Zimny

On Tuesday, July 4th, the Oakland Municipal Band will launch its 106th season of free afternoon performances at the Edoff Memorial Bandstand, Lakeside Park, Lake Merritt. This season is dedicated to the memory of Anne Woodell, who passed away in January at the age of eighty.  From 1998 to 2016, Anne led the all-volunteer, Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band (FOMB) organization that supported the summer concerts. 

In addition to supporting the OMB, she is remembered for decades of advocacy on behalf of Oakland’s parks, arts, gardens and people. In 2000, Anne was named Citizen of the Year by the New Oakland Committee. In 2009, she was named Mother of the Year by Oakland Parks and Recreation. In 2016, the Oakland Garden Club dedicated a statue and plaque that recognizes that her “footprints (are) permanently etched in the heart of Oakland Parks and Recreation.” To read more about Anne’s life, read Mike McGeehan’s tribute to her in the East Bay Times.

This summer’s five concerts at the Edoff Memorial Bandstand in Lakeside Park begin with the traditional July 4 celebration, followed by four Sunday afternoon concerts, July 9, 23, 30, and August 6. There will be no concert July 16 to avoid conflicting with the U.S. Rowing Southwest Masters Championships on Lake Merritt.

Phil Linhares Photo

These concerts are relaxed and fun-loving events that offer a variety of appealing music, including selections from the Woodminster Summer Musicals. For the Independence Day performance on July 4, selections will include many traditional favorites, including The Star-Spangled Banner, American RiversongsBattle Hymn of the RepublicYou’re a Grand Old FlagWhat a Wonderful WorldLet Freedom Ring, and more. The concert will conclude with the Children’s March to John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. Wear your red, white and blue and wave a flag if you wish. Bring a blanket, lawn chairs, a picnic lunch, and friends.

Bruce De Benedictis, a long-time FOMB member, notes, “Our dynamic conductor Troy Davis will lead the 35 piece professional band on July 4, 9, and August 6, and guest conductor Brad Hogarth will lead July 23 and 30.” The concerts are scheduled from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Phil Linhares Photo

De Benedictis says, “This has been a trying time for the Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band, but we are determined to carry on with your help and support. Fund-raising has been delayed as we work on re-organizing [FOMB] so it can continue without Anne. So we need your help now! We are asking you to assist in whatever way you can to help us raise the funding for five concerts. Please direct potential sponsors, major donors, or guarantors to us.” The Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band is a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit organization, EIN 27-1380829, so all donations are tax- deductible. Each free concert costs about $4700 to pay for the musicians and supplies. (The FOMB committee members are all unpaid volunteers.)

Monetary donations are not the only way you can help the FOMB. Volunteering tasks range from helping set up the bandstand at 10:00 A.M. on concert days; to helping with publicity, letter writing, record-keeping, Internet messaging, finance, or other administrative tasks; to serving on the FOMB Board of Directors. Bruce De Benedictis urges you to call him at (510) 763-4657 if you would like to volunteer. “This could be a great way for someone to gain management experience,” he encourages.


Tuesday, July 4
Sundays, July 9, (not 16), 23, and August 6
All performances 1:00 -3:00 PM

Edoff Memorial Bandstand Lakeside Park, Lake Merritt
Main entrance on Bellevue Avenue, off Grand Ave. (by Fairyland Park)
Served by AC Transit lines 11, 12 and NL 19th Street Oakland BART Station


Friends of the Oakland Municipal Band
631 Boulevard Way
Oakland, CA 94610-1642
 (510) 763-4657






2 responses to “GRAND AVENUE, WEST OF 580 – July 2017”

  1. Liane Avatar

    Thank you, Gayle. It has been a joy!

  2. gayle sells Avatar
    gayle sells

    LIZ ~ All the best in Michigan! Thanks for being part of Splash Pad and Oakland! gayle