In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

Summer 2009
Volume 5 Issue 3
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
Delmont Concert BandBand Directory Additions |Medical Issues that Affect Musicians |
 Music Corner | Combined Concert CalendarAnnouncements | Band Web sites | Contact US

Delmont Concert Band
By Ed Mason, written for the band in 2007
Used with permission of Lois Snyder

The Beginnings
Sometime in 1961, a dedication ceremony was being planned for the completion of a new US Post Office in Delmont.  The arrangements for the dedication included an invitation to the Delmont Scout Troop #211. Paul R. Kersten, a local musician and scout troop leader, decided to organize a band for the occasion. Paul went to work an solicited help from musicians, both children and adults, in and around the Delmont area.  Rehearsal were held on Tuesday evenings in the Delmont School.  The bands first public appearance was at the Delmont Firemen’s Carnival  in July, 1962, followed by the special dedication of the new Post Office.  The band was very well received by the Delmont Community on both occasions.

The band members enjoyed playing for these events and voted to keep this gathering of musical talent together.  They named it the Delmont Area Concert Band.  As time progressed, the band membership expanded, and at one time had 50 members.  Paul Kersten continued to direct the band and play trumpet.  The band continued to rehearse in the Delmont School on Tuesday evenings, though it eventually moved to the Salem Lutheran Church in Delmont and shortened its name to the Delmont Concert Band.

The band played many concerts over the years under the direction of Mr. Kersten. Concerts were played at Newhouse Park, various Firemen’s Fairs, the Assisted Living Facilities Nursing Homes,  various church functions, the Ligonier gazebo, and the Scottdale Gazebo.  In addition the band played a Christmas concert for the Salem Crossroads Pilgrimage during the month of December.

About Lois Snyder
Lois Snyder, a music teacher with the Apollo Ridge School system, had joined the band as a trumpet player under Paul Kersten.  At the time of Kersten’s death, Lois was preparing to retire after 40 1/2 years of dedicated service with the Apollo schools.  Several band members asked Lois if she would direct the band.  Fortunately, she agreed to do so and as a result the band continued to exist and grow.  We all owe Lois many thanks for accepting this responsibility.

Lois attended Scottdale High School from 1940-1943 and graduated from Greensburg High school in 1944.  She then went to Otterbein College, where she earned at BA degree in 1948. she also received an MA in Music Education from Carnegie Institution of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1958.  Lois also attended the University if Wisconsin, Ithaca College, and the University of Pittsburgh.

After graduating from Otterbein College, Lois took a teaching job with Apollo Ridge School district.  During her many years with the Apollo Schools, she taught senior high school band, elementary band fro grade 4 through 12, and elementary vocal music for grades 1 thru 5.

In addition to directing the Delmont Band, Lois plays trumpet in the Scottdale Band, the moonlighters Dance Band, and various other groups when asked to participate.

As director of the Delmont Concert Band, Lois beings each year by choosing musical selections for the upcoming concert season.  She usually has a theme in mind, such as American Composers, travelling across America, etc.  Then she contacts Volkweins, J.W. Pepper and other sources to locate suitable music.

The Present Delmont Concert Band
The Delmont Concert Band is an all volunteer organization of 35-40 musicians.  It prides itself on playing “music that people like to hear.”  The band consists of people of all ages from many different communities, including Delmont, Holiday Park, Scottdale, Murrysville, Monroeville, Sarver, Mt. Pleasant, Greensburg, Latrobe, Tarentum, Apollo, Blairsville, Irwin, Lower Burrell, Trafford, Export, New Alexandria, Connellsville, Vandergrift, Verona, Derry, and Jeannette.  As a result of Lois’ warmth and dedication, many of its members view the band as an extended family.
The Delmont Concert Band plays concerts for many different organizations during the year.  Summer concerts begin in May and extend through October, followed by a series of Christmas Concerts in early December.

For financial support, the band relies on donations from host organizations. These donations are used to purchase new music, special instruments, bus trips, dinners, and any other expenses that may arise.

The band welcomes anyone who plays an instrument and can read music. Anyone interested in joining can get in touch with Lois Snyder (724-327-3954). Rehearsal are mid-February to mid December on the first, second, and fourth Thursdays on the month at Faith united Methodist Church in Delmont.

The remaining Summer 2009 concert Schedule for the Delmont Band can be found in the concert calendar.

Southwestern PA Community Bands (As of June 29, 2009)

Below are some recent updates to the directory.  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 25 groups listed in our directory from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Lawrence County Community Band
Michael Palladino, Director
Melanie Slater, President

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. 

Medical Problems that Affect Musicians

Compiled By Sarah McElfresh
There are a variety of medical issues that affect musicians.  Some of can increase with age or length of time that one plays.   The information presented below is intended to be a list of some of the conditions with a brief description and links to a resources where available.  This does not constitute medical advice, yet serves to bring information and to put names and descriptions to some potential problems some of our readers may have experienced, and to help further discussions with their own physicians.  The resources below detail many more conditions that affect musicians than are presented in this review article.  If you are experiencing problems which you think may be attributed to your playing, the resources may be a good place to find some information with consultation with your own physician.
You may be surprised that there is an annual conference on the subject - The Annual Symposium on Medical Problems of Musicians & Dancers - as well as a medical journal, Medical problems of the Performing Artist  [] devoted to medical issues of musicians, vocalists, and dancers.  The conference is sponsored by Performing Arts Medicine Association  [] which is an international organization that is dedicated to the health of performing artist.  From archives on the journal’s web site, you can peruse table of contents and there are some articles which do not require a subscription.  This may also be a resource to point your physician to as the articles are aimed at the medical profession.  The PAMA web site has additional informational resources.
 Below is a list of conditions that have been compiled from various sources.  Some of these sources are cited and indicated below, others will appear at the end of this article under “other resources.”

 Arthritis: Arthritis describes any inflammation of a joint or damage to the cartilage [1] can affect us all as we age.  Arthritis in the joints of the hand may impact our ability to press keys and valves and hold our instruments.
Resources: (1) Arthritis Foundation:  (2) National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Dermatologic Disorders: "Flautist's chin"- acneiform lesions on the chin confined to area where contact with flute, caused by increased moisture from saliva that results in more pressure while playing.  May also be due to allergy to the metals in the flute construction [2]
Eczema in the lip area often seen in brass players who allergic to the nickel in their mouthpieces. [2]
Dystonia: “Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. The neurological mechanism that makes muscles relax when they are not in use does not function properly. Opposing muscles often contract simultaneously as if the are “competing” for control of a body part. There are approximately 13 forms of dystonia” [3] Hand dystonia and embouchure dystonia (which affects the mouth, cheeks, jaw, and tongue) are the types of dystonia most often diagnosed in musicians. [4]  It is noted in that some musicians believe that their problems are a result of poor technique, being out of shape and/or not practicing enough. Dystonia typically affects the hands and fingers of string, keyboard and wind players, the feet of drummers and the embouchure of brass players [1,3]
Resources: (1) Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (2) Care 4 Dystonia Inc.

 Hearing Loss: Most musicians probably suspect that sitting in front of another musician can directly impact our hearing.  Musicians often face sound decibel levels of 83-112 dBA on stage in various groups and as a result disorders associated with noise induced otologic damage (NIOD) exist among musicians [5]  Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (acoustic trauma - is an immediate, severe, and permanent hearing loss resulting from a sudden blast of extremely intense or loud sound; or Music Induced Hearing Loss - gradual hearing loss resulting from chronic loud music exposure ), Tinnitus (the perception of sound in the ears when no external source exists ), Hyperacusis (a hypersensitivity or decreased tolerance to normal sound ), Recruitment (characterized by a sharp increase in a sound’s perceived loudness after only a relatively small increase in the sound’s actual intensity.) , Diplacusis (when an increase in a frequency of a particular sound is perceived only as an increase in loudness; the perceived pitch stays the same), and Vertigo and Dysequilibrium are all medical conditions associated with NIOD. [5]
Resources: (1) Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (2) Dr. Einhorn’s report cited above

 Musculoskeletal Disorders: There are a variety of musculosketal disorders that affect musicians.  In “Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) for Musicians and Dancers”, Table 1 [1] lists common Musculoskeletal injuries associated with specific instruments.  Only a small handful are presented below.  The entire report is available online [] with sections dedicated to instrumental musicians and these disorders. Resources: (1) Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) for Musicians and Dancers A Resource Guide June 6, 2002 (2) National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Vision Problems: Good vision is a necessity for most of us to continue to play and read music.  Presbyopia is a condition that most of us will develop over time. [6] Presbyopia - is defined as the gradual loss of your eyes' ability to focus actively on nearby objects [7].  While presbyopia is a normal part of aging and can be overcome with prescription on non prescription glasses.  Musicians need to worry about added eye strain due to the lighting conditions in performance spaces.  Sometimes there is not enough light, sometimes the wrong kind of or too much light which can increase glare and general eye strain [8]. 
For most of the disorders presented above, prevention was indicated as the key [1,2].  Ways to prevent injuries included properly warming up, not just the instrument, but the body with stretching exercising and playing with proper posture [1].  Treating these ailments vary from basic rest and using ice on affected areas for many of musculoskeletal problems to seeking professional help through your physician[1, 2, 8]. For more information, please refer to the sources listed within the article and below, and of course, seek advice from your personal physician.
Cited References
[1] Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) for Musicians and Dancers A Resource Guide June 6, 2002 accessed June 26, 2009
Hayden, Gregory F., “Maladies in musicians”. Southern Medical Journal (July 1, 2002)  [accessed through:] accessed June 26, 2009
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation  accessed June 26, 2009
[4] Quick Facts about Musicians’ Dystonias from Dystonia Medical Research Foundation accessed June 26, 2009
[5] Einhorn, Kenneth “The Medical Aspects of Noise Induced Otologic Damage in Musicians”, Hearing Review - March (2006) [accessed: June 26, 2009
[6] Dawson, William “The Eyes Have It”  ADVANCE 26.3 (2007):12-13
[7] Presbyopia accessed June 27, 2009
[8] Daum, Miriam C., “Occupational Hazards in Music” 1988 accessed June 26, 2009
The following articles by Dr. William Dawson are available to members of the Association of Concert Bands in the members section of the web site.
  • “Arthritis and the Musician” ADVANCE 23.1 (2004):12-14
  • “Medical Treatment Options for instrumentalist”  ADVANCE 25.2 (2005): 12-16
  • “Music-Related Hearing Loss – Causes, Treatment, and Prevention”  ADVANCE  25.3 (2006):18-20
  • "The Eyes Have It”  ADVANCE October (2007) pgs 12-13
  • "When Music Making Becomes Painful”  ACB JOURNAL 26.3 (2008):14-16
Other Resources Discussion or listing of a web site, article, or book in this article does not imply an endorsement by the author or Southwestern PA Band Partners.

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. 


Composer: Eric Whitacre
Published: 2000
Grade: 3 (Medium difficulty)
Performance time: app. 7:30
Publisher: Hal Leonard (HL 04490700)
Eric Whitacre’s web site:

By Jonathon Hills, East Winds Symphonic Band

October is one of a handful of pieces written by Whitacre directly for concert band, commissioned by a consortium of high school and college bands in Nebraska. The style of the piece has more in common with some of his more famous choral works such as Sleep, or even Cloudburst (both of which are available in band transcriptions) than his other works for bands, passing over any showy display of virtuosity in favor of lush harmonies. Several short motifs are passed through the various sections, with a few instruments carrying themes in the beginning and the piece building through the additions of different parts and sections to a climactic sequence played by the entire band. Solo passages for oboe and euphonium are simple but effective melodic lines, providing brief showcases for musicianship in those instruments.  The piece ends in an all too rare delicate, pianissimo figure for the trombone section, a subtle touch that eschews standard orchestration techniques in music of this difficulty level. The piece is straightforward in terms of structure, with Whitacre’s standard palate of suspensions and close harmonies, and can be easily played by bands of relatively modest abilities. However, in the hands of a skilled ensemble and attentive conductor, the subtlety and musicality of the piece can provide an excellent vehicle to display the musicianship of the ensemble.

Combined Calendar (As of June 23, 2009 for Summer 2009)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

July 2009:
Wed, 1 7pm Mon Valley Community Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Thu, 2 8pm Allegheny Brass Band Harmony Inn, Harmony
Fri, 3 7pm East Winds Symphonic Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Fri, 3 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band Natrona Heights Presbyterian Church
Sat, 4 7:30pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Zelienople
Sun, 5 1pm Pine Creek Community Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Sun, 5 1:30pm Jeannette Community Band Twin Lakes Arts & Heritage Festival
Sun, 5 2pm Armstrong Concert Band Smicksburg Independence Weekend, Eating House
Sun, 5 4:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Ewing Park, Ellwood City
Sun, 5 7pm Scottdale Concert Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sun, 5 7pm Ohio Valley Community Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Thu, 9 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University's Miller Auditorium.
Sat, 11 6pm Lawrence County Community Band St. Mary's Church, New Castle,
Sun, 12 12:15pm Blairsville Community Concert Band HoodleBug Festival, Homer City
Sun, 12 2:30pm Community Band South Bethel Park Community Center, Bethel Park
Sun, 12 3pm East Winds Symphonic Band Twin Lakes Park, near Greensburg
Sun, 12 6pm Armstrong Concert Band Concordia
Sun, 12 evening Jeannette Community Band Ascension Church Italian Festival, Jeannette
Sun, 12 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sun, 12 7pm Delmont Concert Band New Alexandria
Tue, 14 7pm Armstrong Concert Band West Kittanning Firehall
Fri, 17 7pm Scottdale Concert Band Cedar Creek Park. Rostraver Twp
Sat, 18 7pm Penn Trafford Community Band Twin Lakes Park, Greensburg
Sun, 19 4pm East Winds Symphonic Band CCAC Boyce Auditorium, Monroeville
Sun, 19 7pm Scottdale Concert Band Scottdale Gazebo
Sun, 19 Allegheny Brass Band Monroeville Community Park
Wed, 22 6:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Buhl Park, Sharon
Thu, 23 7pm Delmont Concert Band Redstone Highlands, Greensburg
Thu, 23 7pm Jeannette Community Band McKee Parking Lot – Jeannette Community Days
Thu, 23 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band Apollo Moonlanding Festival, Owens Grove
Thu, 23 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University's Miller Auditorium.
Fri, 24 7:30pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Moon Park, Moon
Fri, 24 or Sat, 25 Allegheny Brass Band St. Mary's Festival, McKees Rocks
Sat, 25 7pm Armstrong Concert Band Ford Cliff Firehall
Sun, 26 10:30am Allegheny Brass Band Bach, Beethoven & Brunch, Mellon Park, Shadyside
Sun, 26 2pm Blairsville Community Concert Band St's. Simon & Jude Church Bazaar, Blairsville
Sun,26 7pm Penn Trafford Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Thu, 30 6:30pm Kittaning Firemen's Band Kittanning YMCA
Thu, 30 7pm East Winds Symphonic Band Cranberry Community Park

August  2009:
Sat, 1 1pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Fort Armstrong Festival, Kittanning
Sat, 1 7:30pm North Suburban Big Band St. John Lutheran Church of Highland, McCandless
Sun, 2 1pm Armstrong Concert Band Fort Armstrong Folk Festival
Sun, 2 3:30pm Allegheny Brass Band Bethel Park Community Center, South Hills
Sun, 2 7pm East Winds Symphonic Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Thu, 6 7:30pm East Winds Symphonic Band Crafton Park, Crafton
Thu, 6 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University's Miller Auditorium.
Sat, 8 1pm Penn Trafford Community Band Trafford Community Days
Sun, 9 6:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Darlington Park, Mahoningtown
Sun, 9 7pm Community Band South On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sun, 9 7pm Delmont Concert Band First United Methodist Church, Murrysville
Mon, 10 6pm Blairsville Community Concert Band St. Andrews Village, Indiana
Thu, 13 7pm Delmont Concert Band Redstone Highlands, North Huntingdon
Sat, 15 1:30pm Blairsville Community Concert Band Blairsville Diamond Days
Sun, 16 2pm Lawrence County Community Band Ewing Park, Ellwood City
Sun, 16 2pm Scottdale Concert Band Loucks Park, Scottdale
Sun, 16 7pm Syria Temple Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Tue, 18 6:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Lawrence County Fair
Sat, 22 7pm Community Band South John McMillan Presbyterian Church, Bethel Park
Sun, 23 7pm Delmont Concert Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sun, 30 7pm Somerset County Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Mon, 31 7:30pm East Winds Symphonic Band Friendship Village of the South Hills

September 2009:
Sat, 12 8pm Allegheny Brass Band McCandless Twp. Community Day, North Hills
Sun, 13 5:45pm Delmont Concert Band Murrysville Presybyterian
Sat, 19 1pm Penn Trafford Community Band Municipal Park, Harrison City
Sun, 20 2pm Armstrong Concert Band Smicksburg Apple Fest, Eating House


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—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 sarahmcelfresh (at)

 * * * * * Half Price membership begins July 1st * * * * *
so an individual membership is only $15 for the rest of 2009.

Are you interested in an Unwanted Music Swap??

The idea has been presented by the president of one of the bands that we have a music swap.  A place to trade original full scores of music that are just taking up space in your music library.  Swap those pieces you will never play for one reason or another for something else.  Perhaps it is too easy or hard for your group—might be just right for another.       Perhaps it is a piece that your band has overplayed—it may be brand new to another.  Perhaps you just need to thin out your library.  There are many more reasons why you may no longer need or want that piece of music, and it may be a gem for some other group.

If you are interested in participating in such an event, please contact Sarah McElfresh at sarahmcelfresh (at)
Date and location will be set and announced after the schedules of those most interested have been worked out.

TRCBF LOGOThe 7th Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held on Saturday May 1, 2010 at Upper St. Clair High School Theatre

The Organizing Committee is now accepting applications from bands who wish to perform.
To apply, a band should submit an application form and an audio sample of the band.   
Applications should be received by November 6, 2009  for consideration.
 More information can be found on the Festivals web site.  click on “Apply to Perform

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
Kathy Wikowski, Allegheny Brass Band,  North Suburban Symphonic Band

June 29, 2009