Community Music Groups Working Together
A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners
In the announcments section: For discounted tickets to the
Symphony, Marianne Haffey's phone number should be 412.392.3320.
Inside This Issue:
area bands are doing
Area community bands are doing interesting
things. What has your band been up to, drop us a note
firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “SWPABP:
Interesting things” and we will feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
PA Community Bands
There are no updates from the last issue. If you are aware of
community bands in the region that are not yet in the online directory
please let them know about us. We currently have 23 groups listed
in our directory from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.
(As of December 25, 2007)
send email to email@example.com
Aeolian Winds Present a
The Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh will present the
world premiere of Greg Bartholomew’s “Second Suite from Razamov” for
wind quintet at 3pm on Sunday, November 9th at the First Baptist Church
of Pittsburgh. Greg himself will host a preconcert talk at 2pm
which will include a live performance of the “First Suite from Razamov”
for clarinet, cello, and piano. The rest of the concert will
feature wind quintet works by Georges Bizet, Endre Szervánszky,
and Júlio Medaglia. A post-concert reception will follow
the performance. Be sure to tune in to WQED-fm on Friday,
November 7th – Jim Cunningham will interview Greg about the piece and
you’ll be able to hear some of Greg’s music on the air! An encore
performance of the concert only will occur on Sunday, November 16th at
the Bower Hill Community Church.
For more information, please visit http://www.aeolianwinds.com .
This performance is funded in part through Meet The Composer's MetLife
Creative Connections program
More about Meet the Composer
According to their web site, Meet The Composer started in 1974 through
the New York State Council on the Arts. Since then they have become a
nationwide organization with a mission to “increase opportunities for
composers by fostering the creation, performance, dissemination, and
appreciation of their music.” They do this in a variety of ways,
one of which is the MetLife Creative Connections program that supports
composers interactions with the audience as well as performers.
Applications can be submitted at various times of the year for projects
to bring composers to participate in projects with your group.
There is a list of suggested ideas with the application. The main
idea is for the composer and public to interact.
Visit the web site:
Note: The Sponsoring Organizations no longer need 501(c)3
status to be able to apply which is a change from the past.
Reflections from Band Camp
By Sarah McElfresh
Towards the end of June, we put our instruments in the car and
headed west for Ashland University in Ashland Ohio for the North
Central Ohio Adult Music Camp. They offer a 3 and 4 day
camp. The 4 day camp is the same as the 3 day, but has an
additional day ahead of time for small ensembles or a big band.
My husband Scott participated in the big band day and we both
participated in the 3 day community band camp.
For the community band portion of the camp, we arrived to the band room
with a folder packed full of music that we would spend the next few
days reading through and working on. The final afternoon of the
camp is a concert where we perform selections from that music in the
university's auditorium. Selections included things that are
standard in the band literature as well some that were new to many of
us including some original arrangements brought by fellow
campers. Some of the pieces included Pineapple Poll, Jubilant
Overture, American Riversongs, Suite of Old American Dances, and Music
for the Kings Delight. We were treated to a visit by Percy Hall
who wrote El Bandito de Zamora which we were also working on. He
took the baton and directed us through some passages and detailed his
thoughts in writing the piece as well as his philosophy in the
different types of arrangements. It is always an interesting
experience being conducted by the composer.
During the 3 day camp there was also the opportunity to break in to
sectionals where we would either work on some passages in the concert
band music, or play some choir or ensemble music. This also
allowed for more interaction among the campers.
The evenings were set aside for small ensembles, clinics, and group
discussions. One evening many of us sat and played or listened to
a Dixieland group. Someone brought several Dixieland books which
we ran through decked out in Mardi Gras beads that one of the
other campers happened to have in their car. In the evening
woodwind quintets as well as flute choirs also got together to
play. One night saw a clinic on clarinet mouthpieces. We
also had a gab session about our bands where we were able to ask
questions and share experiences on the different things that affect
community bands. Topics ranged from recruitment and advertising
to insurance and transporting equipment to venue types and audience
sizes. It was a chance to share ideas and get to know each other
without our instruments.
As with many things meal time was also a chance to interact with the
other musicians. Lunches were provided with the camp sometimes at the
student union’s café and other days at one of the local
churches. Many of us stayed at the same hotel so shared a
continental breakfast together. Dinners were on our own, and many
people got together with others to check out the local fare. Most
of the campers were from Ohio, with others from Pennsylvania, Michigan,
Indiana and a few other states.
We are looking forward to attending next year!
The tentative dates for next summer’s NCOAMC are June
24-27th updates should be posted at
under Trinity Academy of Fine Arts some
time in the spring. We will also try to announce the dates and
information on our electronic mailing list.
For information on other band camps, please refer to our Spring 2008
newsletter for the article entitled “Band Camp: What are you going to
do on your summer vacation?”
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
firstname.lastname@example.org with “New Music Corner” in the
subject line. Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher
and a brief description of the piece.
Composer: Steven Bryant
Grade: 4 or 5*
Performance time: 8:30-8:45
Publisher: BCM International / Hal Leonard
Steven Bryant’s web site:
* Steven Bryant’s web site indicates it is Grade 4 while Hal Leonard
indicates it as a Grade 5.
Compiled by Sarah McElfresh
I first heard this piece performed by The United States Military Band
at West Point at the 2008 Association of Concert Bands
Convention. The introduction of the piece intrigued me as it is
based on Holst’s First Suite in Eb—one of my favorite pieces to play
and listen to. I wondered if I would be excited or disappointed
when the piece was over. It is indeed an interesting work
to listen to and I imagine to play and work on as
well. The piece is based on the Chaconne melody and is presented
in a dream-like fashion as it moves through the band. When the
piece ended, I was not disappointed. It is like the original
Chaconne movement in that intonation and precision are incredibly
important and it is a very moving 8 1/2 minutes.
An excerpt from Steve Bryant’s web site:
Suite Dreams is the
fourth and final(?) of my Parody Suite pieces.
Unlike the others (Chester Leaps In, ImPercynations, and MetaMarch),
it's not intentionally funny and tongue-in-cheek in character. Rather,
it's more a dream-like fantasia based on Holst's First Suite in Eb. The
motivic material is almost exclusively from the inverted Chaconne
melody in Mvt. I and from Mvt. III.
It is definitely worth the time to listen to the mp3 file available at
either Steven Bryant’s or Hal Leonard’s web site and determine if
this piece is right for your group.
Calendar (As of August 29, 2008 for Fall 2008)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar
Winds Symphonic Band
|Butler County Symphony Orchestra
|Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh
Community Concert Band
Concert, Jeannette American Legion
|Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh
|Butler County Symphony Orchestra
||The Musicians Concert Band
University's Miller Auditorium.
||North Hills. Jr.
|Edgewood Symphony Orchestra
Winds Symphonic Band
Hills Symphonic Band
Suburban Symphonic Band
|Community Band South
Community Center, Bethel Park
||Upper St. Clair
tickets to The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Save these Dates - The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra welcomes
Southwestern PA Band Partner members! Join us Oct. 31- Nov 2, 2008 for
Strauss' Alpine Symphony, and December 5 -6, 2008 for Bernstein's West
Side Story Symphonic Dances, string trio Time for Three and Copland's
Symphony No 3. Southwestern PA Band Partner members enjoy discounted
tickets and personalized service through Marianne Haffey - call
412.393.3320 or email@example.com for further information
on these and any other PSO/Heinz Hall performances. Just mention "Band
Community Band Festival
Applications for Bands To Perform
The 6th Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be May 2, 2009 at
Upper St. Clair High School Theatre. The festival invites
applications from area community bands . For information about the
festival and how to apply visit: http://www.ewsb.org/festival
Community Band Festival
Band Registration open for 2009 Festival
The 6th Annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held May 2,
2009, at Upper St. Clair High School There will again be a “Festival
Band” which will allow a larger number of area musicians to participate
in the festival. The band will rehearse on the morning of the
festival with guest conductor, Elisabeth Heath-Charles and
then perform selected pieces during the afternoon concert. For
more information and application materials, please visit: http://www.ewsb.org/festival
Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners is
dedicated to helping community music groups in the southwestern
Please visit us online at the address below to learn more or become
Bands with web sites (for updated list visit the links page)
Contributing to the
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. We are always looking for contributions to the "New
Music Corner." Just email your article to:
For additions to the web site email:
In the next
In our next newsletter due out in early January you will find:
- YouTube and community bands and the community band musician
Sarah McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band
Scott McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band
Kathy Wikowski, Allegheny Brass Band, North Suburban Symphonic
September 29 2008