In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

Summer 2010
Volume 6 Issue 3
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
Ideas for RecruitmentBand Directory |  Music Corner | Combined Concert CalendarAnnouncements | Band Web sites | Contact US

Opportunities for the Community Band Musician

By Sarah McElfresh

We all come to that time when we need more musicians to fill out the sections or we need a player of a less common instrument like French horn or bassoon.  But how do we find these musicians??? Below are some suggestions that have been made by musicians from all over to help recruit new musicians.  Some work better than others for a given geographic area and band philosophy. 

Word of mouth
Asking your musicians to ask friends and spread the word that you are looking for new members is probably one of the best ways to find new members.  People may want to join to do something fun with their friends.  Maybe they’ve thought about dusting off that case and coming to rehearsals in the past, but now that they are needed in the group, they may be more likely to come.

Web site
A web site is by far the best recruiting tool you can have.  Particularly for new people moving to an area.  Those that want to find a band will first turn to Google or the Community Music List and look for a band in their area.  So having a web site is step 1.  Having an effective web site is step 2.  Refer to our article in our Winter 2007 edition for some basics on web page design and creation.  The most important elements of the web site for recruitment are 1) Name and location of the band and 2) how to join including contact information and rehearsal information. 

Facebook and social networking sites are also becoming a useful way to recruit members and in many ways combines word of mouth and the web site.  Many bands have facebook pages where their members are fans.  Members can post in their status that their band is looking for new members, and their friends will see it and perhaps others will see it and spread the word to other friends.  You can also advertise on your facebook page that you are looking for members.

Newspaper ads
An old standby is placing a Musicians Wanted ad in the local paper.  This works very well in small towns that still have a local paper—be sure to include information on how to join and where you rehearse.  You may also want to try to get the local paper to run an article about the band that highlights more about the group. This will give the musicians you are seeking a better idea about the band as well as remind the community about your existence and perhaps an upcoming concert season.

Craigslist works like an online classified ad.  You can post a musicians wanted ad here as well.  This seems to be most useful for the garage/rock band looking for a drummer or lead singer as there are many such ads.  But there have been ads for bassoon players or piano players.  Cannot speak to the effectiveness of this method, but given that it is one that comes up often in discussions it must work for some groups.

Church bulletins
Advertising in church bulletins goes a long way.  You never know what members of the congregation used to play.  Ask your members to see about putting a musicians wanted ad in their church bulletins—perhaps have it say contact John Smith who plays trumpet with the group who is the church member.  This is another place to perhaps gain potential audience members as well.

High Schools
Many high school students would love to continue playing in the summer or have another musical outlet during the year. Sadly, most high school students do not know that community bands exist.  Talk to local band directors towards the end of the school year and see about recruiting some members over the summer.  You may need to worry about band camp and conflicts, so talk about those up front with the director when discussing expectations.  Perhaps you only need certain instruments, you can ask the director to talk to those musicians, or perhaps you are alright with doubling the size of your band should every student want to join —then you might want to send a note home to parents.  It is also common that a high school student’s parents were also musicians and you may be able to recruit some of them.  On a note that goes home you might want to be careful and explain what the expectations are and philosophy of your band.  This may minimize students who want to show up and play a “couple times” but not be a part of the band or perform at concerts.  If you are only going to be able to take a few students per instrument, you’ll want to mention that up front to minimize hurt feelings.  After all these students may be the people you need to draw musicians from in a few years when they have completed college.

Colleges and Universities
Many colleges have bands for music majors, and some for non-majors—but not all, so this leave some students looking for a musical outlet.  Music Majors who are required to learn new instruments may benefit greatly from the performance opportunity with a full ensemble.  Seek out college band directors and the Music honor society and ask about hanging a few posters in their department office, hallways, etc.  To get the non music major students who would like to keep playing, but don’t want to devote the time to become a music major might take more effort depending on the size of the school.  The best bets are posters in university centers or where students pick up their mail or ads in the college paper.  Some school’s have activity fairs at the beginning of the school year intended for student groups to advertise themselves to the freshmen and other students.  Some schools may allow you to set up a table there.

Graduate students are another student population that might be looking for a band to continue playing in while working on their degrees.  A web site is probably the best way to attract these students.  Graduate students tend not to hang out in places common for posters to be hung, and there often is not a network in place to help them find extracurricular activities.

No single method is the best method for finding new players—a 2 or 3 (or more) prong approach is probably best.  Once you have your new members you need to be sure they understand the expectations and desires of the group and it is important for the group to be willing to accept the new members and welcome them into the band and the community.  If a new member feels welcome, they are likely to stay and perhaps they know a few other musicians they can bring along to  the next rehearsal.

Southwestern PA Community Bands (As of March 25, 2010)

Below is a recent update 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.


Somerset County Community Band
Dan Croft, director
c/o Laurel Arts, Inc.
214 S. Harrison Ave.
PO Box 414
Somerset, PA 15501
Dave Breen, President
Verified: April 30, 2010

 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. 

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. 

Beyond the Horizon

Composer: Rossano Galante
Published: 20089
Grade: 4
Performance time: 5:23 min
Publisher: Alfred  Music Publishing
Composer Web site:

by Sarah McElfresh

This piece is one that caught my attention when listening to an Alfred Music promo CD of new works for 2009.  The piece was commissioned by the Point Pleasant Boro High School Band from Point Pleasant, NJ.

Beyond the Horizon is described by the publisher as a dynamic composition encompassing majestic brass fanfares and sweeping melodic lines. The piece is comprised of two themes that musically paint a picture of the Earth's breathtakingly beautiful horizon. 

The piece while technically on the challenging side, has high rewards for the effort and the audience is sure to enjoy the piece as they picture themselves staring off into the distance at the horizon and are captivated by its sight and sound.


Combined Calendar (As of June 25, for Summer 2010)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

July 2010:
Thu, 1 5pm Penn Trafford Community Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Fri, 2 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band Natrona Heights Presbyterian Church
Sat, 3 7pm East Winds Symphonic Band Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
Sat, 3 7:30pm Somerset County Community Band Indian Lake Fireworks (rain date July 10)
Sat, 3 8pm Allegheny Brass Band Brentwood High School Stadium
Sun,4 6:30pm Somerset County Community Band Meyersdale Fourth of July
Sun,4 7pm Scottdale Concert Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Wed, 7 6:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Buhl Park, Sharon
Thu, 8 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University Miller Auditorium
Fri, 9 7pm Kittanning Firemen's Band Freeport Gazebo
Sat, 10 6pm Lawrence County Community Band St. Mary's Hall, New Castle
Sat, 10 7pm Penn Trafford Community Band Twin Lakes County Park, Greensburg
Sun, 11 2pm Community Band South Bethel Park Community Center, Bethel Park
Sun,11 2pm Somerset County Community Band Music on the Square, Bedford
Sun, 11 3pm East Winds Symphonic Band Twin Lakes County Park, Greensburg
Sun, 11 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Fri, 16 6pm Penn Trafford Community Band St. Barbara’s Parish Festival, Harrison City
Sat, 17 TBA Blairsville Community Concert Band St. Andrews Village
Sun,18 2:30pm Somerset County Community Band Somerfest, Laurel Arts/Dressler Center
Sun, 18 4pm Community Band South CCAC Boyce Campus, Monroeville PA
Thu, 22 7pm Delmont Concert Band Redstone Highlands, Greensburg
Thu, 22 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University Miller Auditorium
Fri, 23 6pm Lawrence County Community Band American Legion Hall, New Castle
Fri, 23 7:30pm Community Band South Greentree Park, Greentree
Sat, 24 afternoon Jeannette Community Band Elliott Centennial Celebration
Sat, 24 12pm Lawrence County Community Band Riverwalk Memorial Park, New Castle
Sun, 25 4pm Delmont Concert Band Verona
Sun,25 6:30pm Kiski Valley Community Band Bayberry Court, Lower Burrell
Sun, 25 7pm Penn Trafford Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sun,25 7:30pm Jeannette Community Band Rock on the Dock,Murrysville
Sun,25 TBA Blairsville Community Concert Band St's. Simon & Jude Church Bazaar Blairsville
Thu, 29 6:30pm Kittanning Firemen's Band Kittanning Folk Festival, Kittanning YMCA
Thu, 29 7pm Jeannette Community Band McKee Parking Lot, Jeannette Community Days
Sat, 31 7:30pm North Suburban Big Band St. John's Lutheran Church of Highland, McCandless

August 2010:
Sun, 2 7pm East Winds Symphonic Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Wed, 4 7pm Lawrence County Community Band St. Vitus Church Festival
Thu, 5 7:30pm The Musicians Concert Band Slippery Rock University Miller Auditorium
Fri, 6 7:30pm West Hills Symphonic Band North Fayette Community Days
Sat, 7 7pm Somerset County Community Band Shanksville Community Days
Sun, 8 6pm Lawrence County Community Band Darlington Park, Mahoningtown
Sun, 8 7pm Community Band South On the Diamond in Ligonier
Thu, 12 7pm Delmont Concert Band Redstone Highlands, North Huntingdon
Thu, 12 7pm Blairsville Community Concert Band Blairsville Street Concert
Fri, 13 7pm Kiski Valley Community Band Freeport Gazebo
Sat, 14 6:30pm Penn Trafford Community Band Manor’s Community Corn Roast, Manor
Sun, 15 10:30am Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Bach, Beethoven, & Bruch, Mellon Park, ShadySide
Sun,15 1pm Somerset County Community Band Central City Heritage Festival
Tue, 17 TBA Lawrence County Community Band Lawrence County Fair
Thu, 19 12pm Penn Trafford Community Band Level Green Senior Citizens meeting, Trafford
Fri, 20 7pm West Hills Symphonic Band Moon Park ARL Amphitheater,Moon
Sat, 21 5:30pm Somerset County Community Band Hidden Valley Homeowners Picnic
Sat, 21 7pm Community Band South John McMillan Presbyterian, Bethel Park
Sun, 22 1pm Penn Trafford Community Band Westmoreland County Fair
Sun, 22 7pm Delmont Concert Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Sat, 28 1pm Somerset County Community Band Community Festival, Hollsopple
Sun,29 7pm Somerset County Community Band On the Diamond in Ligonier
Tue, 31 6:30pm Lawrence County Community Band Shenango on the Green, New Wilmington

September 2010:
Sat, 11 3pm West Hills Symphonic Band Clever Park, Robinson Twp
Sun, 12 5pm Delmont Concert Band Murrysville PResbyterian Church, Murrysville
Sat, 18 12:30pm Penn Trafford Community Band Penn Twp. Fall Festival, Harrison City
Sun, 26 2pm Somerset County Community Band Whiskey Rebellion, Berlin


Liberty Classic Community Band Festival
Hosted by the Repasz Band
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
October 22-24, 2010
Guest Conductor, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, USAF Band (Ret.) will be on hand to conduct individual musicians from all over the country who will travel to Williamsport, PA for this festival.  Rehearsals are Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a concert on Sunday evening at The Community Arts Center.

For more information visit

Association of Concert Bands
1/2 Price ~ 1/2 yr memberships start July 1st

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.

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.

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

June 28, 2010