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The Summer Sounds Concert Series began in 1997 when Emil Paolucci (1915-2004), a member of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, began working with the City of New Rochelle on a plan to refurbish the Hudson Park bandshell and introduce free concerts in the park. Today the Emil Paolucci Summer Sounds Concert Series is produced by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts in partnership with the New Rochelle Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Summer Sounds Concert Series is made possible, in part, by funding from People’s United Bank and Webster Bank. In 2016 an anonymous donor provided a $100,000 grant to NRCA that allowed the purchase of a state-of-the-art sound system. That year NRCA also coordinated with local food trucks and began working with the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse to offer free yoga before the concerts (the yoga sponsor for 2018 was New Rochelle Radiology). In 2018 support from Watermark Pointe and an anonymous donor helped purchase much-needed stage lighting.

The Summer Sounds Concert committee issues an RFP for musicians in January and meets in February to review submissions and set the calendar. The committee also solicits sponsorships, organizes food trucks, staffs a welcome booth at each concert and sells raffle tickets to help raise money for the concert series.