Volume 6 Issue 4
Version in PDF Format
By Sarah McElfresh
In southwestern Pennsylvania there are over 20 different community bands, all are special in their own way and serve their musicians and community in a variety of ways. I was fortunate to play with two community bands in the Pittsburgh area—The East Winds Symphonic Band and the Delmont Concert Band. I played with EWSB for 9 years and with DCB for about 1 and a half. These two bands are very different, yet both are rewarding and enjoyable. This past summer, my family moved out of the Pittsburgh region and in addition to all those things that accompany moving, finding a community band to play with was high on the priority list. And of course we found some groups through various resources and started playing shortly after arriving. So why was finding a community band in our new home just as important as finding the grocery store or library? My guess is those of you who play in a community band know the answer, but I thought I’d share and it helps explain why Southwestern PA Band Partners and this newsletter have been important to me. Now that I have moved, it is unclear if this newsletter and web site will continue. If there are any of you in the region interested in continuing SWPABP please contact me and we’ll see what we can do. As for now, I will continue things as I can and I’ll share why community band is an important part of my family’s life.
Community Band is a place where not only music is made, but friendships are formed. We come together for the love of music, the desire to keep playing our instruments, to entertain audiences, and to find other people looking for the same thing. Sharing the music with an audience brings the relationship with the music and each other to another level.
I started going to community band rehearsals and concerts with my parents (both trumpet players) before I could walk, so band was always a part of my life. I was the banner carrier for parades for a number of years and when able to play trumpet well enough I joined rehearsals. I had started playing baritone in 7th grade and the summer before high school I did not have a school horn and was not quite able to go back to playing trumpet, so did not go to rehearsals once school got out. When one of the tuba players found out why I wasn’t playing that summer, he gave me a euphonium—it is the horn I still play today. He wasn’t going to let the fact that I didn’t have a horn to play keep me from playing with the group when he had a collection of horns that were collecting dust and tarnishing. That is an example of the bond and friendship that is formed in a community band. Now, playing in band is something my husband and I do together, and our children are involved as well. It was my husband who brought me back to band after we got married. Ten years and now 5 bands later, our 2 children come with us to rehearsals and concerts and enjoy being the band’s “biggest fans.” They have their favorite pieces and concert venues and their own interpretation of the music. I hope that one day they will find the same joy playing in a community band that I do.
Sousa National Community Band
July 8-10, 2011
Organized by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, the Sousa National Community Band is comprised of individual musicians from around the country who travel to a given location to play a concert in the style of Sousa under the baton of Col. John R. Bourgeois.
For information see: http://www.sousafoundation.org/ under Projects or
send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of Concert Bands
The Association of Concert Bands (ACB) is a national organization dedicated to encouraging and fostering adult community, municipal and civic bands and musicians. Membership has its privileges, with different levels of membership— student ($15/yr), individual ($30/yr), family ($45/yr), life ($1000), organizational ($50/yr or $275/yr), and corporate ($150/yr). The more expensive type of organizational memberships comes with the BMI/ASCAP Blanket licensing agreement that keeps community bands legal with performance fees. All types of memberships come with a subscription to the Journal, voting privileges, and participation in the annual convention and convention band. The Journal is published three times a year, and includes articles about community bands from across the country; festivals, concerts, band camps, reviews of music and CDs and other topics that would be of interest to a community band musician. For more information, visit the web site or contact Sarah McElfresh, Regional Membership Coordinator for Pennsylvania at email@example.com.
Note: there is a new student membership level—perhaps you know a student you’d want to give a gift membership . Gift memberships are available at all levels.
Northeast Music FestivalJoin the 25th annual Great American Concert Band under the baton of Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, USAF Band (Ret.). Rehearsals begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. All Friday and Saturday rehearsals are held within the Festival headquarters (Lake Placid's High Peaks Resort). The dress rehearsal and afternoon concert on Sunday will be held at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Participation in the Great American Community Band is determined by application.
Lake Placid NY ~ November 19-21, 2010
For more information: http://www.northeastmusicfestival.org/ or call 802-657-4063
We now have an announcements page for those items that come in between the monthly email postings to the mailing list. Check out it out!
Don’t forget to sign up for the monthly email.
Tell your friends so they don’t miss upcoming concerts.
To be on our mailing list send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject subscribe
|Allegheny Brass Band||http://www.alleghenybrassband.com/|
|Armstrong Concert Band||http://www.geocities.com/armconband|
|Blairsville Community Concert Band||http://www.bccband.com/
|Community Band South||http://cbs.pghfree.net/|
|East Winds Symphonic Band||http://www.ewsb.org/|
|Harmony-Zelienople Community Band||http://www.hzcb.org|
|Harrisville Community Band||http://www.harrisvilleband.com/|
|Jeannette Community Band||http://www.jcbweb.com/|
|Kiski Valley Community Band||http://www.kvcb.net|
|Kittanning Firemen's Band||http://www.kfband.com/|
|Lawrence County Community Band||http://sites.google.com/site/lccbandsite/|
|Metropolitan Symphonic Band||http://metrosb.org/|
|Musicians Concert Band||http://www.tmcband.com/default.htm|
|North Suburban Symphonic Band||http://www.nssband.org/|
|Ohio Valley Community Band||http://www.geocities.com/ovcband|
|Penn Trafford Community Band||http://www.ptcommunityband.org/
|Pine Creek Community Band||http://www.pinecreekband.com/|
|Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra||http://www.artsnet.org/pco/|
|Scottdale Concert Band||http://www.scottdaleband.com/|
County Community Band
|Washington Symphonic Orchestra||http://www.washsym.org/|
|West Hills Symphonic Band||http://www.whsb.org/|
|Westmoreland Symphonic Winds||http://www.wswinds.org/|