In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

Fall 2010
Volume 6 Issue 4
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
What Community Band Means to me | Band DirectoryMusic Corner | Combined Concert Calendar |Announcements | Band Web sites | Contact US

What Community Band Means to me.

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.


Southwestern PA Community Bands 

 We currently have 25 groups listed in our directory from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

 Please check the listing of your group in the online directory to see if it is correct and let us know so we can put a “Verified on” date. 

to the East Winds Symphonic Band for being selected to perform at the
2011 Association of Concert Bands Convention
in Muskegon, Michigan on May 12th.

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 with “New Music Corner” in the subject line. Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher and a brief description of the piece. 

James Bond Suite

Arranger: Frank Erickson
Grade: 4 /Medium
Publisher:  Alfred Music
by Sarah McElfresh
This is a piece I recently played for a concert that was movie themed. The James Bond Suite has 4 movements that can be played together or separately.  The movements are the James Bond Theme, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, and Goldfinger.
The attention to dynamics and style are what makes this piece and audience pleaser.  The tunes are recognizable those 007 fans and it is an enjoyable piece to play.  You have the excitement of the James Bond Theme and Goldfinger offset by the ballad feel of Live and Let Die and For your Eyes only.  A Great addition to almost any concert.


Combined Calendar (As of October 2, for Fall 2010)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

October 2010:
Sat, 9 7:30pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sat, 9 7:30pm Edgewood Symphony Orchestra Agnes and Joseph Katz Performing Arts Center Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Sat, 9 8pm Washington Symphony Orchestra Trinity High School, Washington
Sat, 16 7:30pm Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St. Clair High School Theater
Sun, 24 3pm North Suburban Symphonic Band Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Hall
Sun, 31 2:30pm East Winds Symphonic Band Rodef Shalom, Shadyside

November 2010:
Sat, 6 7:30pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Thu, 11 7pm Blairsville Community Concert Band Blairsville High School Auditorium
Fri, 12 8pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Butler County Community College Succop Theater
Sat, 13 7pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic North Hills Jr. High School
Sun, 14 7pm Jeannette Community Band Jeannette American Legion
Sat, 20 8pm Westmoreland Symphonic Winds Reichgut Concert Hall, Seton Hill University, Greensburg

December 2010:
Fri, 3 7pm Delmont Concert Band Redstone Highlands, North Huntingdon
Sat, 4 7:30pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sat, 4 7:30pm Edgewood Symphony Orchestra First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood
Sat, 4 8pm Washington Symphony Orchestra Trinity High School, Washington
Sun, 5 3pm East Winds Symphonic Band Franklin Regional Middle School, Murrysville
Sun, 5 6pm Delmont Concert Band Faith United Methodist Church, Delmont
Mon, 6 7:30pm East Winds Symphonic Band Friendship Village, Upper St. Clair
Fri, 10 8pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Butler County Community College Succop Theater
Sat, 11 7pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic North Hills Jr. High School
Sun, 12 6pm Delmont Concert Band Faith United Methodist Church, Delmont
Sun, 12 3pm North Suburban Symphonic Band Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Hall
Sat, 18 7:30pm Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St. Clair High School Theater
Sun, 19 7pm Jeannette Community Band Jeannette American Legion


Sousa National Community Band
July 8-10, 2011
Naperville, Illinois
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:  under Projects       or
send an email to

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 

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 Festival
Lake Placid NY  ~  November 19-21, 2010

Join 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.
For more information:  or call 802-657-4063

General Announcements

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 with the subject subscribe

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 web sites (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
Lawrence County Community Band
Metropolitan Symphonic Band
Musicians Concert Band
Pittsburgh Philharmonic
North Suburban Symphonic Band
Ohio Valley Community Band
Penn Trafford Community Band
Pine Creek Community Band
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra
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. 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 newsletter
In our next newsletter due out in early October you will find:

Sarah McElfresh,  East Winds Symphonic Band, Delmont Concert Band
Scott McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band

October 3, 2010