In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

 Fall 2007
Volume 3 Issue 4
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
Blairsville Community Concert BandBand Directory Additions | Side by Side with the PSO
New Music Corner | Combined Concert Calendar  | Announcements | Band Websites | Contact US

The Blairsville Community Concert Band

Provided by Joe Profetta

The Blairsville Community Concert Band was formed in October in the year 2000. The band is an offshoot of an invitation by Warren Dosch, in that year the Blairsville High School Music Director, to the family and friends of the students to play at a high school band concert. The original participants who accepted that invitation to play enjoyed the experience so much they met after the high school concert and formed the Blairsville Community Concert Band. Today we number approximately 55 members including students, businessmen, instrumental music teachers, a retired college band director, and a number of your neighbors both amateur and profession musicians.  We are comprised of area children and adults ages 12 to 81 years.

A brass choir from The Blairsville Community Concert Band has played for the Indian Haven and Beacon Manor Retirement home residents at Christmas time. This year the brass choir performed for St. Andrew’s Village in Indiana, PA and at Keeper of the Flame in Blairsville. The concert band has played annually at Blairsville’s Diamond Days celebration, Veteran’s Day concert at the Blairsville High School’s Center for the Performing Arts, for Blairsville’s Sts. Simon & Jude church bazaar, an Independence Day celebration at Marion Center, PA, Blairsville’s Concert in the Park series, at the Diamond in Ligonier, PA, and other area concerts.

By performing, we hope to demonstrate the talent, joy, and satisfaction of the local artists, thereby encouraging others to play and perpetuate the art of traditional live concert music in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the organization is to preserve the art of live band music in our community, and to provide our members an outlet in which they may express their unique musical instrumental and vocal artistic talents to the Blairsville area, in Indiana and Westmoreland Counties, and surrounding communities. The band hopes that its artistic contribution, live music, will be appreciated by young and old of this community now, and for generations to come. Membership in the band is voluntary, and anyone who can read music is welcome to join. Ask any band member after our concert about joining the band. Learn more about the band and upcoming performances at

Blairsville Community Concert Band Leadership:
Musical director                           Dave Brozeski
Assisted by                                 Lou Iezzi, Sandra Becker and William Becker
The BCCB  board of Directors …      Joe Profeta, President
                                                 Ken Thomas, Vice President
                                                 Pam Long, Secretary/Treasurer

Check the BCCB website at for upcoming performances

Southwestern PA Community Bands - Additions (As of October 1, 2007)

Butler County Symphony Orchestra
Elisabeth Heath-Charles, Musical Director and Conductor
send email to

Congratulations to the East Winds Symphonic Band for being selected to perform at the Association of Concert Bands 2008 National Convention
in Corning New York in April.

Oh What a Night! On Stage with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

By Beej Goodwin
East Winds Symphonic Band

On the evening of June 22, 2007 I, along with 54 other community musicians, had the distinct privilege of performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This concert was the culmination of the PSO’s Community Side-by-Side program. In its 7th year, the Side-by-Side program offers 55 amateur musicians an opportunity to learn how to perform with a professional orchestra while providing a great educational experience for those of us who wish to enhance our musical skills. The pieces chosen for this year’s concert were Smetana’s Ma Vlast IV from Bohemia’s Forests and Meadows and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. PSO’s resident conductor, Daniel Meyer, led us through this extraordinary musical experience.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra began the Side-by-Side program in the summer of 2000. The mission of this program is to give community musicians an opportunity to perform with the PSO while also receiving instruction on many aspects of musicianship. Musicians are chosen on the basis of an application in which musicians relay their experiences in community music and answer several questions about what playing with the PSO would mean to them as well as how each musician feels that they could most benefit from being involved in the program. The most interesting questions, in my opinion, deal with what performing music means to each applicant. All musicians who are not union members are encouraged to apply. When there are too many applicants for a certain instrument, members of the PSO hold auditions. Unfortunately the program excludes saxophone, euphonium and harp players. The musicians who are selected receive their music 4 weeks prior to the first rehearsal to encourage us to practice the more difficult passages prior to the first rehearsal.

 Beginning on June 9 we first rehearsed without our professional counterparts. As part of additional preparation for the performance, we attended sectional rehearsals as well as a like-instrument master class in which we were encouraged to perform solo pieces and receive the same type of critique that we would face in a professional audition. I found the master class to be the most educational aspect of the program as it gave me a chance to understand how others perceive my playing. The master class was led by Peter Sullivan, the principal trombonist for the PSO.

Friday, June 22 will be indelibly marked in my memory as the greatest musical experience of my life. From the first moment I entered the stage at Heinz Hall, I felt that I was in the company of greatness. I could almost hear the echoes of music performed here by some of the greatest musicians of all time. All of the PSO musicians were quite gracious and repeatedly thanked us for participating in the concert. The horn player with whom I was paired was more than willing to impart wisdom while he patiently answered my numerous questions. I felt like a guest performer as we were all treated with great respect by the PSO members. When the concert ended and we received a standing ovation amid thunderous applause from the PSO members, I was overwhelmed by emotions that I had never felt at the end of any other performance. For a brief time, I had been an integral part of a major symphony orchestra. Oh, what a night!

Editors Note: For more information visit the Pittsburgh Symphony Web site at: will have information on the 2008 Equitable Resources Community Side-By-Side Event
For the 2007 event the deadline to submit applications was April 20th.

New Music Corner
This section is intended to be a place for conductors and musicians to share information on new music they are playing. If you have something to contribute please email us the information at Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher and a brief description of the piece. Your description might include things like difficulty, instrumentation strengths requirements, style, etc.

Music For Life
Commissioned by the members of Community Band South, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the occasion of the band’s 20th anniversary in 2007.
Philip Sparke
Copyright 2007 by Anglo Music Press

Provided by Dean Streator - Co-Founder/Co-Director of Community Band South

A year and a half ago Martin Hagan, a CBS charter member clarinet player, suggested that it might be appropriate to celebrate the band’s twentieth year by commissioning a brand new selection.  Jim Bennett and I agreed and we began contacting band composers.  That winter I was playing for another band and found the timpani part for “Pittsburgh Overture” to be quite a challenge for me. On a whim I emailed London composer Philip Sparke to complain about his percussion writing. His response came next day saying, “Good players can play it”. I immediately liked this guy.

Philip Sparke is primarily a wonderful brass band writer but is now composing and arranging for American concert bands through his Anglo Music Company.  I asked him if he had anything in his closet that he might dedicate to our band.  He said “No, but I’ll be glad to write something for you.”  So, the process began.

When we announced the plan CBS members wanted to be involved and donated the entire cost of the commission.

We wanted a substantial work, something to feature and challenge the various sections of the band.  Aware that he was a master at brass writing, we asked for something sensitive and expressive for our excellent woodwinds.  Mr. Sparke communicated frequently about style and length, we agreed on a 4 minute minimum to 8 minute maximum.  We wanted to have the work for the fall of 2007. We exchanged title ideas, and wanting to reflect the positive aspects of both the band’s philosophy and the energy, we settled on “Music For Life.”  The Community Band South motto is “Music Is For A Lifetime”.

In March of 2007 the score and parts arrived only a month before the annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival.  We all thought the festival would be the most perfect time to premier the piece. All players promised to learn their parts quickly.

The composition is in ABA form with a most expressive and challenging slow movement featuring numerous divisi parts for our woodwinds.  Brass and percussion writing is also spectacular.  This piece is full of life and vitality, even in its more reflective moments.  A series of lively melodic statements are presented before a slower central section is introduced.  But the moment of reflection is short-lived and the livelier music returns to end the work in the same spirit that it started  We are proud of it, we enjoy playing it, We love it!

About Community Band South
Community Band South had its first rehearsal October of 1987 in the Upper St. Clair High School band room. Jim Bennett and Dean Streator were co-founders, co-directors. Jim was Band Director and Fine Arts Director at the school and Dean had just retired as Instrumental Music teacher at Bethel Park High School.                           Music is for a Lifetime

Combined Calendar
(As of September 25, 2007 for Fall 2007)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

October  2007:
Thu, 4
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh Penn Hills Library
Sat, 6
2pm Scottdale Concert Band Beth Ann Nursing Home, Ligonier, PA
Sun, 7
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh Sanctuary Concert Series, First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh
Sat, 13
Butler County Symphony Orchestra
Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Wed, 17
Allegheny Brass Band Ingomar United Methodist Church
Sat, 20
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
JCC Katz Auditorium
Sun, 21
North Suburban Symphonic Band
Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center
Sun, 28
East Winds Symphonic Band Rodef Shalom, Shady Side
Tue, 30
Armstrong Concert Band Kittanning High School

November  2007:
Sat, 10
Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sat, 10
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St Clair High School Theatre
Sat, 10
Westmoreland Symphonic Winds Cecilian Hall,  Seton Hill University
Sun, 11
Jeannette Community Band Jeannette American Legion
Sun, 25
Armstrong Concert Band West Kittanning Firehall

December  2007:
Sun, 2
The Musicians Concert Band Miller Auditorium, Slippery Rock University
Fri, 7
Kiski Valley Community Band Natrona Heights Presbyterian Church, Harrison
Sat, 8
East Winds Symphonic Band Franklin Regional Middle School, Murrysville
Sat, 8
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood
Sat, 8
Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sun, 9
Kiski Valley Community Band Markle Fire Hall, Allegheny Township
sun, 9
Allegheny Brass Band Christ Church at Grove Farm, Sewickley
Tue, 11
Kiski Valley Community Band Hebron Lutheran Church, Main St., Leechburg
Sun, 16
North Suburban Symphonic Band Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center
Sun, 16
Community Band South Bethel Park Community Center, Bethel Park
Sun, 16
Jeannette Community Band Jeannette American Legion
Sun, 16
Kiski Valley Community Band Apollo 1st Evangelical Lutheran Church
Sat, 22
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St Clair High School Theatre

Band Applications
The 5th Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be May 3, 2008 at Upper St. Clair High School Theatre.  The festival invites applications from community bands in Southwestern Pennsylvania. For information about the festival and how to apply visit:

Festival Band
The 5th Annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held May 3, 2008, at Upper St. Clair High School.  A new and exciting concept which will allow a larger number of area musicians to participate in the festival will be featured: a Festival Band comprised of area Community Band Musicians.  The band will rehearse on the morning of the festival with a guest conductor, and then perform selected pieces during the afternoon concert.  For more information and application materials, please visit:

Contacting Us:

Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners is dedicated to helping community music groups in the southwestern Pennsylvania Region. 
Please visit us online at the address below to learn more or become involved.

Regional Bands with websites (for updated list visit the links page)

Aeolian Winds
Allegheny Brass Band
Armstrong Concert Band
Blairsville Community Concert Band
Butler County Symphony
Community Band South
East Winds Symphonic Band
Edgewood Symphony
Harmony-Zelienople Community Band
Harrisville Community Band
Jeannette Community Band
Kiski Valley Community Band
Kittanning Firemen's Band
Musicians Concert Band
North Pittsburgh Philharmonic
North Suburban Symphonic Band
Ohio Valley Community Band
Pine Creek Community Band
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra
Resurrection Band
Scottdale Concert Band
Somerset County Community Band
Washington Symphonic Orchestra
West Hills Symphonic Band
Westmoreland Symphonic Winds

Contributing to the newsletter
Everyone is welcome to contribute an article to the newsletter.  The topic is up to you—something you think your fellow musicians would be interested in. Just email your article to:

For additions to the website email:

In the next newsletter
In our next newsletter due out in early October you will find:

Sarah McElfresh,  East Winds Symphonic Band
Scott McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band
Kathy Wikowski, Allegheny Brass Band,  North Suburban Symphonic Band

October 1, 2007